Dr. Susan Perkins is a microbiologist with three main areas of research. The first is the systematic, biogeographic, and molecular evolutionary study of the protozoan parasites that cause malaria, including those that infect non-human hosts. Her second main research focus is the study of symbiotic bacteria that are found in certain groups of blood-feeding leeches. This project involves both morphological and molecular work and will soon enter the realm of genomics, as the hope is to sequence the entire genome of one type of these symbionts. The third research focus is an examination of the patterns of genomics and geography, in relation to pathogenicity, of RNA viruses.