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John Hawdon John Hawdon
Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine

Office Phone: (202)994-2652
Email: Email
Department: Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine


  • BS, Pennsylvania State University, 1981
  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1991


Dr. Hawdon has extensive training in hookworm biology and molecular biology, and has done pioneering research in these areas. He has spent his 24-year academic career studying hookworms, and his laboratory group is the first to study mechanistic aspects of signaling during hookworm infection. Dr. Hawdon earned his B.S. in Animal Science at Pennsylvania State University, and his PhD in Parasitology from University of Pennsylvania. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the MacArthur Center for Molecular Parasitology at Yale University School of Medicine. Before joining GW in 2000, Dr. Hawdon was an Associate Research Scientist in the Medical Helminthology Laboratory in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Society of Parasitologists, the Helminthological Society of Washington, and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists.


Dr. Hawdon's research interests focus around the hookworm infectious process. The developmentally arrested infective stage receives a host-specific signal that re-initiates suspended developmental pathways that culminate in development of the adult parasite. Dr. Hawdon's laboratory is investigating the molecular events of this activation to parasitism in the framework of dauer recovery in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a novel in vitro activation assay that Dr. Hawdon developed, his lab confirmed that hookworm infective larvae use the same signaling pathways during activation that C. elegans dauers use during recovery. Dr. Hawdon is continuing to dissect the pathways in hookworm larvae by identifying the host-specific signal and its receptor, the molecules involved in the transduction of this signal, and the molecular events of development. Dr. Hawdon is also interested in the population genetics of natural populations of hookworms infecting humans. His studies have demonstrated the presence of genetically isolated populations of the human hookworm Necator americanus in China. Variation in hookworm populations will complicate the design of recombinant vaccines and effective drug-based control strategies. Future studies will investigate the effect of transmission patterns on the intra- and interhost population genetics of hookworms. Dr. Hawdon is also pursuing sanitation-based control strategies for soil transmitted helminths in China.

For more information, please visit the Hawdon Lab website.


BISC 2339 - Parasitology , MICR 6220 - Biology of Parasitism


Gelmedin, V., Brodigan, T., Gao, X., Krause, M., Wang, Z., and HAWDON, J.M. 2011. Transgenic C. elegans dauer larvae expressing hooworm phospho null DAF-16/FoxO exit dauer. PLoS One 6:e25996. PMCID: 3189237.

Dryanovski, D.I., Dowling, C., Gelmedin, V., and HAWDON, J.M. 2011. RNA and protein synthesis is required for Ancylostoma caninum larval activation. Veterinary Parasitology 179: 137-143. PMCID: 3105239.

Krepp, J., Gelmedin, V., and HAWDON, J.M. 2010. Characterization of hookworm heat shock factor binding protein (HSB-1) during heat shock and larval activation. International Journal for Parasitology 41: 533-543. PMCID: 3062737.

Gao, X., Wang, Z., Martin, J., Abubucker, S., Zhang, X., Mitreva, M., and HAWDON, J. M. 2010. Identification of hookworm DAF-16/FOXO response elements and direct gene targets. PLoS One 5:e12289. PMCID: 2924398

Wang, Z, Abubucker, S, Martin, J, Wilson, R, HAWDON, J, Mitreva, M. 2010. Characterizing Ancylostoma caninum transcriptome and exploring nematode parasitic adaptation. BMC Genomics 11: 307. PMCID: 2882930

Weaver, H.J., HAWDON, J.M., and Hoberg, E.P. 2010. Soil-transmitted helminthiases: implications of climate change and human behavior. Trends in Parasitology 26: 574-81.

Wang, Z., Zhou, X.E., Motola, D.L., Gao, X., Suino-Powell, K., Conneely, A., Ogata, C., Sharma, K.K., Auchus, R.J., Lok, J.B., HAWDON, J.M., Kliewer, S.A., Xu, H.E., Mangelsdorf, D.J., 2009. Identification of the nuclear receptor DAF-12 as a therapeutic target in parasitic nematodes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A, 106:9138-9143. PMCID: 2695123

Kiss, J.E., Gao, X., Krepp, J.M. and HAWDON, J.M. 2009. Interaction of hookworm 14-3-3 with the forkhead transcription factor DAF-16 requires intact Akt phosphorylation sites. Parasites & Vectors 2: 21. PMCID: 2683825

Gao, X., D. Frank, and HAWDON, J.M. 2009. Molecular cloning and DNA binding characterization of DAF-16 orthologs from Ancylostoma hookworms. International Journal for Parasitology 39: 407-415. PMCID: 2704004.

Brand, A., Varghese, G., Majewski, W., and HAWDON, J.M. 2005. Identification of a DAF-7 ortholog from the hookworm Ancylostoma caninum. International Journal for Parasitology 35: 1489-1498.

Brand, A. and HAWDON, J.M. 2004. Phosphoinositide-3-OH-kinase inhibitor LY294002 prevents activation of Ancylostoma caninum and Ancylostoma ceylanicum third-stage infective larvae. International Journal for Parasitology 34: 909-914.

HAWDON, J.M., Zhan, B., Li, T., and Blouin, M.S. 2001. Genetic structure of populations of the human hookworm, Necator americanus, in China. Molecular Ecology 10: 1433-1437.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None