Diane McMahon-Pratt, PhD

Professor Phased Retirement

Research Interests

Biochemistry; Epidemiology; Leishmaniasis; Microbiology; Parasitology; Tropical Medicine

Research Summary

The focus of the research in my laboratory is the genus of parasitic protozoan, Leishmania, which causes a spectrum of diseases known as leishmaniasis. The laboratory is interested in understanding the immune effector mechanisms in the mammalian host that are involved in the control of infection and/or pathogenesis, with the aim to developing a vaccine and also less toxic treatments for infection. Currently, Professor McMahon-Pratt is director of a Fogarty sponsored International Program with Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas (CIDEIM) in Colombia. This program is focused on understanding the pathology and epidemiology of leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia), which predominates in South America, with the objectives of developing training and methods of intervention.

Extensive Research Description

The research in Professor McMahon-Pratt's laboratory is concerned with the parasitic protozoan, Leishmania, which causes a spectrum of diseases known as leishmaniasis. The laboratory is interested in understanding the immune effector mechanisms in the mammalian host that are involved in the control of infection and/or pathogenesis, with the aim to developing a vaccine and/or non-toxic treatments for infection. Towards these ends, we are collaborating with Dr. Tarek Fahmy (Yale Bioengineering) in the development of nanoparticle therapeutic treatment delivery system for leishmaniasis. In other studies, the laboratory also collaborates Drs. Al Bothwell and Eddie Chae (Immunobiology) investigating the role of DKK-1 in the regulation of the innate and T cell responses to Leishmania infection. We have long-term collaboration with scientists in Colombia. Currently, Professor McMahon-Pratt is director of NIAID R01 and Fogarty (NIH)-sponsored Programs with Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas (CIDEIM) in Colombia. These programs are focused on understanding the pathology of leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia), which predominates in South America, with the objective of designing immunological approaches for treatment and control.

Currently, Professor McMahon-Pratt is director of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Fogarty sponsored International Program with Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas (CIDEIM) in Colombia. This program is focused on understanding the pathology and epidemiology of leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia), which predominates in South America.

  • Pathogenesis and virulence factors of Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis; targeted towards vaccine development against L. (Viannia) infection
  • Molecular Aspects of Vector/Host-Leishmania Interaction, a collaborative Fogarty Training Program with CIDEIM and the Universidad de Los Andes and Universidad del Valle (Colombia)
  • Intervenable Host Leishmania (Viannia) Interactions, an NIH project with CIDEIM
  • Investigation of the role of DKK-1 in the regulation of the innate and T cell responses to Leishmania infection in collaboration with Drs. A. Bothwell and Chae (immunobiology)

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Diane McMahon-Pratt, PhD
Office Location
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health
60 College Street, Ste 811

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Yale School of Public HealthPO Box 208034
60 College Street-LEPH 711

New Haven, CT 06520-8034

Curriculum Vitae