Our laboratory is trying to figure out how parasite neuromuscular systems work. To start you off, here are answers to some of the questions people usually ask.
- What kind of parasites do you study?
We study parasitic worms, often referred to as parasitic helminths. Parasitic worms come from two different phyla--platyhelminthes (the flatworms) and nematoda (the roundworms). Flatworms and roundworms are very different, which is why we say,
Flatworms are from Venus, roundworms are from Mars
- Why do you study those worms?
We study parasitic worms because we think they are very interesting, and also because they continue to be a predominant health hazard throughout most of the world. One reason that we focus on receptors and ion channels of the neuromuscular system is that the neuromuscular system has proven to be a great place to find critical molecules that can be targets for new antiparasitic drugs.
Platyhelminths are also very interesting because they are the simplest animals with features such as anterior cephalization (a brain!) and bilateral symmetry. As such, they have much to reveal about the development of the earliest nervous systems.
- How do you study those worms?
We use a wide range of physiological, biochemical and molecular techniques, including:
You can read much more about our research projects by clicking on the "Lab Projects" link below.