My research interests focus on the transmission cycles of leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that affects millions of people in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The ultimate goal of our laboratory is to identify strategies that decrease the burden of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. We take advantage of animal models, principally hamsters, to understand the immunopathogenesis of disease and evaluate new candidate antileishmanial molecules. We have explored different vaccination strategies in this laboratory animal and also in dogs, which are the principal domestic reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis. We are evaluating the comparative advantage of treating susceptible hosts based on early molecular diagnosis versus treatment initiated upon serological or clinical diagnosis. We believe that strategies aimed at decreasing the parasite burden in dogs, mainly through immunoprophylaxis, could interrupt transmission to humans.