Dawn M. Wetzel, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern and an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Health℠. She specializes in the research and treatment of parasitic and other pediatric infectious diseases.

She earned her medical degree and Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Wetzel completed her pediatrics residency training at Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian (Columbia University) and her fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at Yale University.

In addition to her patient care efforts, Dr. Wetzel runs her own research laboratory at UT Southwestern. As a principal investigator, her research focuses on molecular and biochemical parasitology and studying parasitic infections like the protozoan disease leishmaniasis — one of the World Health Organization-designated neglected tropical diseases. Her additional interests include drug discovery for the broader group of single-celled trypanosomatid parasites.

Dr. Wetzel has earned multiple awards, grants and national recognition for her research and holds a patent for anti-parasitic medicines she developed.


Medical School
Washington University School of Medicine (2005)
Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital (2008), Pediatrics
Yale University School of Medicine (2011), Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Research Interest

  • Cellular and molecular pathogenesis of leishmaniasis and other parasitic infections
  • Development of novel antiparasitics
  • Host-pathogen interactions


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

An Antiparasitic Compound from the Medicines for Malaria Venture Pathogen Box Promotes Leishmania Tubulin Polymerization.
Ullah I, Gahalawat S, Booshehri LM, Niederstrasser H, Majumdar S, Leija C, Bradford JM, Hu B, Ready JM, Wetzel DM, ACS Infect Dis 2020 Jul
The relative rate of kill of the MMV Malaria Box compounds provides links to the mode of antimalarial action and highlights scaffolds of medicinal chemistry interest.
Ullah I, Sharma R, Mete A, Biagini GA, Wetzel DM, Horrocks PD, J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 2020 Feb 75 2 362-370
Erratum to: An Outbreak of Brucellosis: An Adult and Pediatric Case Series.
Hassouneh L, Quadri S, Reto PP, Chaisavaneeyakorn S, Cutrell JB, Wetzel DM, Nijhawan AE, Open Forum Infect Dis 2019 Dec 6 12 ofz527
An Outbreak of Brucellosis: An Adult and Pediatric Case Series.
Hassouneh L, Quadri S, Reto PP, Chaisavaneeyakorn S, Cutrell JB, Wetzel DM, Nijhawan AE, Open Forum Infect Dis 2019 Oct 6 10 ofz384
The Abl-1 kinase is dispensable for NK cell inhibitory signaling and is not involved in murine NK cell education.
Ganesan S, Thanh TL, Kadri N, Chambers BJ, Meinke S, Brodin P, Vivier E, Wetzel DM, Koleske AJ, Höglund P Scand. J. Immunol. 2017 Jun
The Src kinases Hck, Fgr, and Lyn activate Abl2/Arg to facilitate IgG-mediated phagocytosis and Leishmania infection.
Wetzel DM, Rhodes EL, Li S, McMahon-Pratt D, Koleske AJ J. Cell. Sci. 2016 Jun
The Abl and Arg kinases mediate distinct modes of phagocytosis and are required for maximal Leishmania infection.
Wetzel DM, McMahon-Pratt D, Koleske AJ Mol. Cell. Biol. 2012 Aug 32 15 3176-86
Staphylococcus aureus activates type I IFN signaling in mice and humans through the Xr repeated sequences of protein A.
Martin FJ, Gomez MI, Wetzel DM, Memmi G, O'Seaghdha M, Soong G, Schindler C, Prince A J. Clin. Invest. 2009 Jul 119 7 1931-9
Gliding motility leads to active cellular invasion by Cryptosporidium parvum sporozoites.
Wetzel DM, Schmidt J, Kuhlenschmidt MS, Dubey JP, Sibley LD Infect. Immun. 2005 Sep 73 9 5379-87
Evidence that the cADPR signalling pathway controls calcium-mediated microneme secretion in Toxoplasma gondii.
Chini EN, Nagamune K, Wetzel DM, Sibley LD Biochem. J. 2005 Jul 389 Pt 2 269-77


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Young Physician-Scientist Award
    American Society of Clinical Investigation (2013)
  • IDSA Fellow's Research Award and Travel Grant
    Top abstracts by infectious disease fellows-in-training - Infectious Diseases Society of America (2010)
  • Alexander Berg Prize
    Graduating medical student presenting the best research in molecular microbiology - Washington University School of Medicine (2005)
  • William A. McElroy Award for Undergraduate Research in Biology
    Graduating student with th emost promise in biological research - Johns Hopkins University (1998)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (2005)
  • American Medical Association (2009)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2012)
  • Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (2013)
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)