Research focused on preventing negative economic, health impacts
Adela Chavez, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist and assistant professor in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology, Bryan-College Station, grew up in a farming family in Honduras and learned at a young age how ticks can impact animal and human health. Her experiences around beef and dairy production and as a child at play shaped her interests in science and continue to fuel her passion to provide scientific breakthroughs that can prevent or treat tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis in humans and Texas cattle fever, bovine babesiosis, in livestock.
“I’ve seen cows unable to stand up because of severe anemia, and so I was interested at a very young age to do something to solve this problem,” she said. “I would go outside and play and come home covered in ticks, and back in those days there wasn’t much information about tick-borne diseases.”
Her sister developed a serious fever after an outing, and the diagnosis was a mosquito-borne virus, but Chavez now suspects it was linked to a tick bite.