Wesson Lab People


Dawn Wesson, PhD - Principal Investigator


Michael Deshotel, PhD - Senior Postdoctoral Fellow

Scott McRae - Senior Program Manager

Jenny Wolff - Lab Research Tech

Graduate Students (degree in progress):

mattMatthew Ward - Matt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Studio Art from Pitzer College in 2011 with an emphasis on chameleon behavior and physiology. In 2015, Matt completed a Master of Science in Public Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine following 27-months of service as a Master’s International Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Ghana. While in the Peace Corps, Matt completed his Master thesis on the accuracy and applicability of malaria RDTs in rural Ghana. As part of Dr. Dawn Wesson’s Lab, Matt is currently working on his Ph.D. where his interests lie in arboviruses, vector competence, and control.



RyanRyan Moore - Ryan’s research interests include the study of vector borne zoonoses such as Chagas disease. As a Ph.D. student his projects involve the laboratory husbandry of blood feeding arthropods, as well as field studies examining the eco-epidemiology of Chagas disease in Southeastern Louisiana. Ryan is a US Navy HSCP Scholar and will be a Navy Entomologist upon completion of the Ph.D. program.




PanpimPanpim Thongripong - Panpim is a PhD candidate in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Tulane University. Growing up in Thailand, she became especially aware of how tiny creatures like mosquitoes can create such a big problem in public health. She became interested in mosquito-borne diseases during her undergraduate training in Thailand where she reared mosquitoes and learned techniques in molecular biology. Since then, she has been fortunate to receive multi-disciplinary training from many brilliant and inspiring scientists from the Department of Tropical Medicine at the University of Hawai'i and the Department of Microbiology at the California Academy of Science. As a result, she has gained diverse research skills in ecology, arbovirology, bioinformatics and next-generation sequencing. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the wonderful city of New Orleans. In Dr. Wesson's lab, the diverse topics and approaches in research have provided her opportunities to not only learn new skills, but also to tackle research questions in multiple scales and perspectives. Her doctoral dissertation research combines interdisciplinary approaches from medical entomology, virology, and mathematical modeling to examine risks of Aedes-borne disease transmission in the southern United States.



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Department of Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-3558