The good, the bad, and the ugly: From planarians to parasites

Tania Rozario, James J. Collins, Phillip A. Newmark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Platyhelminthes can perhaps rightly be described as a phylum of the good, the bad, and the ugly: remarkable free-living worms that colonize land, river, and sea, which are often rife with color and can display extraordinary regenerative ability; parasitic worms like schistosomes that cause devastating disease and suffering; and monstrous tapeworms that are the stuff of nightmares. In this chapter, we will explore how our research expanded beyond free-living planarians to their gruesome parasitic cousins. We start with Schistosoma mansoni, which is not a new model; however, approaching these parasites from a developmental perspective required a reinvention that may hold generalizable lessons to basic biologists interested in pivoting to disease models. We then turn to our (re)establishment of the rat tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta, a once-favorite model that had been largely forgotten by the molecular biology revolution. Here we tell our stories in three, first-person narratives in order to convey personal views of our experiences. Welcome to the dark side.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmerging Model Systems in Developmental Biology
EditorsBob Goldstein, Mansi Srivastava
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9780128201541
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153


  • Cestodes
  • Emerging models
  • Planarians
  • Schistosomes
  • Tapeworms
  • Trematodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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