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Parasitology


Neglected parasitic diseases are leading cause of death in poor tropical and subtropical areas. Parasitic diseases have a profound impact on public health worldwide because they are imported to non-endemic areas due to travel and immigration.

The Department of Parasitology has a prominent history in parasitic research and teaching medical parasitology to medical students and graduate students. We study several pathogenic parasites including helminths Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Toxocara canis, Taenia solium; protozoa Trichomonas vaginalis, Giardia lamblia; as well as insect vectors Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti.

Our research interests focus on observing the host immune response during helminth infection, understanding the mechanisms of ironinduced gene expression of T. vaginalis, exploring the regulation of key genes involved in inducing cyst formation of G. lamblia, and unraveling the cell signaling pathway and immune response against pathogens in mosquitoes.

By combining use of various research strategies, including functional genomics, proteomics, immunology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, we hope to find the mechanisms of parasite development, transmission, and interaction with host. Our results will lead to new strategies for blocking parasite transmission and better control and treatment of parasitic diseases.