A member of the Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, the Hawdon lab focuses on the molecular biology of hookworm and other parasitic nematode infections.
Hookworm infection is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that infects over 700 million people primary in developing countries. During infection, hookworm larvae receive a host specific signal that initiates parasitic development. We are dissecting the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction and gene expression during this “transition to parasitism” to better understand this critical event in the hookworm life cycle. This research will lead to the development of new drug and vaccine targets to better control this infection of global importance.