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Audrey Brown, PhD

Brown Audrey PFTM24
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine, 2024 University of Virginia

The Role of Host Genetics in Amebiasis Disease Susceptibility


Symptomatic infection with the parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, leads to a potentially deadly diarrheal disease termed amebiasis. Host genetics can alter susceptibility to amebiasis disease, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. A recent genome wide association study (GWAS) from our group identified polymorphisms in the cAMP responsive element modulator (CREM) as influencing susceptibility to amebiasis. I propose to test the hypothesis that CREM acts to protect by regulating host genes protective against E. histolytica. The proposed research will leverage both genetic mouse models and human cohort data to identify molecular mechanisms by which CREM and additional host genes protect from amebiasis. Successful completion of our investigations of host contribution to this disease will elucidate mechanisms of amebiasis development and identify future targets for drug development in diarrheal illnesses.


I am honored to have been chosen for the PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine. Using this fellowship, I will dedicate years of research toward understanding how genetic polymorphisms affect pathogen susceptibility, thereby building the foundation for preventions and treatments of deadly infectious diseases.

Audrey Brown