The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii has recently emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen in humans. Toxoplasma also shares a number of biological features with Plasmodium and Eimeria, which are important pathogens of humans and animals. Because o f the ease o f experimental use, David Sibley, Elmer Pfefferkom and John Boothroyd have undertaken the development of genetics in Toxoplasma as a model intracellular parasite. Toxoplasma is presently the only parasitic protozoan where both classical and molecular genetics are feasible. The recent advances in this system are highlighted here, along with potential applications of genetics for understanding intracellular parasitism.