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Patricia L. Dorn

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences


  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Biological Sciences


  • Biological Sciences


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.

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


Dorn, P. L., A. McClure*, M.D. Gallaspy*, E. Waleckx, A.S. Woods, M.C. Monroy, L. Stevens. The Diversity of the Chagas Parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, infecting the Main Central American Vector, Triatoma dimidiata, From Mexico to Colombia. PLoS NTD (2017), 11(9): e0005878.

Dorn, P.L., S. Justi, E.S. Krafsur, G.C. Lanzaro, A. J. Cornel, Y. Lee, and C. Hill. 2017. Chapter 15: Genetics of major insect vectors”. In: Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Disease, 2nd Ed. (ISBN: 978-0-12-799942-5), edited by Michel Tibayrenc. Invited book chapter.

Stevens, L. and Dorn, P.L. 2017. Chapter VIII: Population genetics of Triatomines. In American Trypanosomiasis Chagas Disease – One Hundred Years of Research (ISBN: 978-0-12-801029-7), edited by J. Telleria and M. Tibayrenc. Invited book chapter.

Dorn, P. L., N. M. de la Rúa*, H. Axen, N. Smith, B. Richards*, J. Charabati, J. Suarez*, A. S. Woods, R. Pessoa*, C. Monroy, C. W. Kilpatrick and L. Stevens. 2016. Hypothesis testing clarifies the systematics of the main Central American Chagas disease vector, Triatoma dimidiata (Latreille, 1811), across its geographic range. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 44:431-443. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2016.07.046.

Stevens. L., M.C. Monroy, A.G. Rodas, R.M. Hicks*, D. Lucero, L.A. Lyons, and P.L. Dorn. 2015. Migration and gene flow among domestic populations of the Chagas insect vector Triatoma dimidiata detected by microsatellite loci. Journal of Medical Entomology 52:419-428.




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. Visit Dr. Dorn's website and see her publications concerning Chagas Disease. Note that names with asterisks in the Recent Publications section below indicate student co-authors.

Dr. Dorn is on sabbatical leave AY17-18, so will not be accepting new students during this time. She is always happy to talk with students about research so feel free to stop by her office.