Dr. Dawn Wetzel is an early-career physician-scientist who cares for children with infectious diseases and conducts basic and translational research in medically relevant parasitic diseases. She has been performing biological research throughout her undergraduate and medical training. She earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology by demonstrating that actin polymerization and calcium secretion regulate a unique form of motility and cell invasion by the Apicomplexa phylum of parasites. When she became a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow, she began to characterize the molecular mechanisms that regulate Leishmania uptake by macrophages. Her work demonstrated that preventing Leishmania entry into macrophages through genetic or chemical inhibition of the Abl family kinases decreases disease manifestations in the mouse model of leishmaniasis. This work resulted in invitations to speak at national meetings, publications, and multiple competitive grants, including a Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08) from the NIH.

Dr. Wetzel's research career will focus on elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of leishmaniasis, which may lead to novel therapies to prevent infection with this important pathogen. She will also continue her clinical work in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and have a particular interest in patients with parasitic infections.

Education & Training
  • Residency - Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital (2005-2008), Pediatrics
  • Fellowship - Yale University School of Medicine (2008-2011), Pediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Medical School - Washington University School of Medicine (1998-2005)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (2013)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2012)
  • American Medical Association (2009)
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (2005)
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2022
  • Young Physician-Scientist Award 2013, American Society of Clinical Investigation
  • IDSA Fellow's Research Award and Travel Grant 2010, Top abstracts by infectious disease fellows-in-training - Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • Alexander Berg Prize 2005, Graduating medical student presenting the best research in molecular microbiology - Washington University School of Medicine
  • William A. McElroy Award for Undergraduate Research in Biology 1998, Graduating student with th emost promise in biological research - Johns Hopkins University
Books & Publications
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Development of novel antiparasitics
  • Cellular and molecular pathogenesis of leishmaniasis and other parasitic infections

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