Laura Knoll, PhD, is the associate dean for basic research training at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
In this role, Knoll participates in overall leadership and oversight of the school's masters level and doctoral training programs, and in the development and implementation of research, research training, and mentoring initiatives within the school.
She leads services to graduate students, post-doctoral learners, and research fellows, including recruitment, financial support, and graduate student wellness, as well as professional development; academic policy development and administration; and budget development and administration.
Knoll earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Saint Olaf College and her PhD from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University.
Knoll has been a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology since 2001. Her research focuses on understanding the host-pathogen interactions of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes encephalitis in immunocompromised patients and is in the same family as parasites that cause malaria and diarrhea.
She served as co-director of the Parasitology and Vector Biology Training Program for 10 years and director for four years. She is an active trainer in several graduate programs and emphasizes the training of underrepresented students. She is also founding co-director of Science to Script at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, which works with the entertainment industry to increase the diverse representation of characters in stories related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Knoll has earned a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award, Shaw Scientist Award from the Milwaukee Foundation, Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, and UW–Madison Romnes Faculty Award, among other accolades.