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Patricia L. Dorn

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences

Patricia L. Dorn
Patricia L. Dorn

Dr. Dorn believes students learn science by doing science so engages her students in “discovery based” and active learning activities in her courses. She encourages an atmosphere where students and faculty work together, support and teach each other in a cooperative, rather than competitive environment. To train students in effective communication, she emphasizes oral and written scientific communication. She strives to enliven the material by discussing recent findings and how science is relevant to everyday life. She encourages meaningful engagement with the community and a deeper understanding of the subject through service learning.


Collaborative Research with Students

Dr. Dorn's research is focused on understanding and interrupting transmission of vector-borne disease.  She and her students work on Chagas disease, a leading cause of heart disease in Latin America, which is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Current research is focused on understanding the interplay among the insect vector and parasite genomics, and socioeconomic, landscape and environmental factors that impact transmission of Chagas disease in Mexico and Central America. She also has projects in the southern United States. Peruse her publications concerning Chagas Disease. Dr. Dorn is always happy to talk with students about research so feel free to stop by her office.

Recent Publications

  • Stevens, L., R. A. Lima-Cordon, S. Helms Cahan, P. L. Dorn, M. C. Monroy, H. J. Axen, A. Nguyen, Y. Hernaiz-Hernande, A. Rodas and S. A. Justi. 2021. Catch me if you can: Under-detection of Trypanosoma cruzi (Kinetoplastea: Trypanosomatida) infections in Triatoma dimidiata s.l. (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) from Central America. Acta Trop 224:106130.
  • Behrens-Bradley, N., S. Smith, N. L. Beatty, M. Love, N. Ahmad, P. L. Dorn, J. O. Schmidt and S. A. Klotz. 2020. Kissing bugs harboring Trypanosoma cruzi, frequently bite residents of the US southwest but do not cause Chagas Disease. Am J Med 133(1):108-114 e113.
  • Hanley J.P., D.M. Rizzo, L. Stevens, S. Helms Cahan, P.L. Dorn, L.A. Morrissey, et al. 2020. Novel evolutionary algorithm identifies interactions driving infestation of Triatoma dimidiata, a Chagas disease vector. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 103(2):735-44. Epub 2020/06/12. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0733.
  • Peterson, J.K., K. Yoshioka, K. Hashimoto, A. Caranci, N. Gottdenker, C. Monroy, A. Saldaña, S. Rodriguez, P. Dorn, C. Zuniga. 2019. Chagas disease Epidemiology in Central America: an Update. Curr Trop Med Rep 6:92. (Invited review).
  • Peterson, J.K., K. Hashimoto, K. Yoshioka, P. Dorn, N. Gottdenker, A. Caranci, L. Stevens, C. Zuniga, A. Saldaña, S. Rodriguez, C. Monroy. 2019. Chagas disease in Central America: recent findings and current challenges in vector ecology and control. Curr Trop Med Rep 6:76 (Invited review).

Classes Taught

  • Microbiology
  • Genetics and Society
  • Cells and Heredity
  • Biology Freshman Seminar
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Areas of Expertise

Virology, Parasitology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology