Jodie Chandler – Seeking a revolution from evolution
Jodie Chandler – Research Officer
Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Bachelor of Biomedical Science in Human Genetics (Hons)
I work to unravel the secrets of the evolution of helminths (worms), to help create effective vaccines against parasites like the human hookworm, a leading cause of anaemia in developing countries.
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand where I was inspired to pursue my love of biology by my high school teacher. I came to Wellington in 2012 where I completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in Human Genetics, and subsequently an honours research programme at Victoria University of Wellington.
In 2015 I was lucky enough to get a job at the Malaghan Institute as a Research Officer in the Allergy and Parasitic Diseases area. My current work is focusing on the genetic evolution of helminths from non-parasitic worms to parasitic worms, such as the hookworm. This work aims to better our understanding of the genetics of these worms, with the hope of others finding new ways to protect humans against infection, through better vaccines for example.
My job is great because I get to work with such incredible scientists from all over the world that share common goals in combating the debilitating disease of hookworm infection. I feel privileged that I get to work on something that I am so passionate about, and am excited that I am able to explore areas of parasitology that have never been investigated before.