Parasitology Research

The faculty members in parasitology have diverse research interests and involvements that can be integrated into a uniquely broad graduate training program in parasitology. Opportunities for study range from fundamental aspects of parasite systematics, population biology and field epidemiology to laboratory approaches to the molecular biology, genetics and host response to animal and human parasitic diseases. Faculty research projects involve the genetics of parasite resistance of domestic ruminants, host-parasite interactions in horses, host response to filariasis in laboratory models, biology and pathology of tick-borne pathogens and ecology-based studies on environmentally sensitive vector-borne diseases using Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing methods. Association with SVM's diagnostic service laboratories provides a broad opportunity to gain proficiency in current diagnostic methods of parasites of the major domestic animals, laboratory, zoo, exotic animals and aquatic/marine animals. Linked via the LSU Faculty of Parasitology, this group of seven faculty members' research is currently funded by NIH, USDA, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, USAID, WHO and other state and private sources.

 

Faculty

David Baker, DVM, PhD. Professor and Director, Laboratory Animal Medicine. Parasitic and other infectious diseases of laboratory animals.

 

Michael S. Behnke, PhD. Assistant Professor. Developmental regulation and host-parasite interaction of the medically relevant parasite Toxoplasma gondii, including the rapidly growing tachyzoite, the dormant bradyzoite cyst, and the enteric/sexual stages.

 

Thomas R. Klei, PhD.  Boyd Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies. Host immune response to parasitic nematode infections as it develops into either protection from infection or pathology of equine parasites and filariasis in animal models.

 

Fang-Ting Liang, PhD. Associate Professor. Immune evasion and pathogenesis of Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease in humans and animals.

 

Kevin Macaluso, PhD. Associate Professor. Tick-borne rickettsial diseases and the interactions between arthropods and rickettsiae facilitate pathogen transmission and the roles that individual molecules play in cell attachment, entry, and cell-to-cell spread; ecology of rickettsial diseases and vector competence.

 

John B. Malone, DVM, PhD. Professor. Epidemiology and control of schistosomiasis, fascioliasis and vector-borne diseases; ecology-based risk models using geographic information systems and remote sending methods.

 

James E. Miller, DVM, MPVM, PhD. Professor. Epidemiology, control, and genetics of ruminant nematode parasitism; improved ruminant production using integrated approaches to control.