University of California, Riverside

Department of Nematology

Adler Dillman Faculty Page

Dr. Adler Dillman Adler R. Dillman

Assistant Professor of Parasitology
2107B Genomics
Office phone: (951) 827-3912


Lab Website


Dr. Dillman has been interested in nematology since he was an undergraduate and joined the Society of Nematologists in 2004. His first interaction with UCR faculty was as an undergraduate; he was part of a soil ecology field trip, led by UCR, to the Republic of Moldova in 2005. He joined the faculty in the Department of Nematology in 2015.



2013-2014     Postdoctoral research in microbiology and immunology,
                      Stanford University

2007-2013     Ph.D. in genetics, California Institute of Technology

2002-2006     B.Sc. in microbiology, Brigham Young University



2015     NIH NIAID K22 Career Transition Award.

2014     Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences
             Research Foundation.
             (3 year postdoctoral fellowship)

2013     Lawrence L. and Audrey W. Ferguson Prize (Caltech)

2012     John M. Webster Outstanding Student Award
             (Society of Nematologists and Nathan A. Cobb Foundation)

2012     Everhart Distinguished Graduate Student Lecturer Award

2009     Best poster in Ecology and Evolution, 2nd place award
             (Genetics Society of America)


Research Areas

We study host-parasite interactions from both perspectives, using insect hosts as models. Our interest is in how hosts recognize and initiate an immune response to parasites and how parasites evade and/or suppress immunity. We study parasite host-seeking behavior and olfaction using parasitic nematodes. To investigate how parasites evade and/or suppress host immunity we are studying which proteins are involved in this process and are working to identify their targets within hosts.

From the host perspective we study how nematode parasites are recognized and the immune response that follows. To do this we use a variety of insect hosts. As part of this work we study host immunity generally using bacterial pathogens, nematode parasites, and other immune insults such as cancer. In studying immunity we differentiate the relative roles of resistance, the ability of the host to reduce or eliminate pathogen burden, and disease tolerance or the ability of the host to manage the effects of infections.


Selected Publications
(* equal contribution)

Baiocchi T., Lee G., Choe D.-H., & Dillman A.R. 2017. Host seeking parasitic nematodes use specific odors to assess host resources. Scientific Reports 7(1):6270.

Lu D., Macchietto M., Chang D., Barros M.M., Baldwin J., Mortazavi A., & Dillman A.R. 2017. Activated entomopathogenic nematode infective juveniles release lethal venom proteins. PLoS Pathogens 13(4):e1006302.

*Lu D., *Sepulveda C., & Dillman A.R. 2017. Infective juveniles of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema scapterisci are preferentially activated by cricket tissue. PLoS One 12(1):e0169410.

Lee J.H., Dillman A.R., & Hallem E.A. 2016. Temperature-dependent changes in the host-seeking behaviors of parasitic nematodes. BMC Biology 14:36.

Lu D., Baiocchi T., & Dillman A.R. 2016. Genomics of entomopathogenic nematodes and implications for pest control. Trends in Parasitology 32(8):588-598.

Baiocchi T. & Dillman A.R. 2015. Chemotaxis and jumping assays in nematodes. Bio-protocol 5(18): e1587.

Dillman A.R. & Schneider D.S. 2015. Defining resistance and tolerance to cancer. Cell Reports 13: 884-887.

*Dillman A.R., *Macchietto M., Finlinson C.F., Rogers A., Williams B., Antoshechkin I., Lee M.-M., Goodwin Z., Lu X., Lewis E.E., Goodrich-Blair H., Stock S.P., Adams B.J., Mortazavi A., & Sternberg P.W. 2015. Comparative genomics of Steinernema reveals deeply conserved gene regulatory networks. Genome Biology 16:200. 

Dillman A.R., Cronin C.J., Tang J., Gray D.A. & Sternberg P.W. 2014. A modified mole cricket lure and description of Scapteriscus borellii (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) range expansion and calling song in California. Environmental Entomology43(1):146-156.

Veesenmeyer J.L., Andersen A.W., Lu X., Hussa E.A., Murfin K.E., Chaston J.M., Dillman A.R., Wassarman K.M., Sternberg P.W., & Goodrich-Blair H. 2014. NilD CRISPR RNA contributes to Xenorhabdus nematophila colonization of symbiotic host nematodes. Molecular Microbiology 93(5):1026-1042.

Sapir A., Dillman A.R., Connon S.A., Grupe B., Ingels, J., Mundo-Ocampo M., Levin L., Baldwin J.G., Orphan V.J., & Sternberg P.W. 2014. Microsporidia-nematode associations in methane seeps reveal basal fungal parasitism in the deep sea. Frontiers in Microbiology 5:43.

*Srinivasan J., *Dillman A.R., Mortazavi A., Antoshechkin I., Wong G. & Sternberg P.W. 2013. The genome and transcriptome of Panagrellus redivivus are shaped by the harsh demands of a free-living lifestyle. Genetics 193:1279-1295.

*Dillman A.R, *Minor P.J., & Sternberg P.W. Origin and evolution of dishevelled. 2013. G3 3(2):251-262.

Dillman A.R., Guillermin M., Lee J., Kim B., Sternberg P.W., & Hallem E.A. 2012. Olfaction shapes host-parasite interactions in insect-parasitic nematodes. PNAS 109(35):E2324-E2333.

Dillman A.R., Mortazavi A., & Sternberg P.W. 2012. Incorporating genomics into the toolkit of nematology. Journal of Nematology 44(2):191-205.

Dillman A.R. and Sternberg P.W. 2012. Entomopathogenic nematodes. Current Biology 22(11): R430-R431.

Dillman A.R., Chaston J.M., Adams B.J., Ciche T.A., Goodrich-Blair H., Stock S.P., & Sternberg P.W. 2012. An entomopathogenic nematode by any other name. PLoS Pathogens 8(3): e1002527.

Murfin K.E., Dillman A.R., Foster J.M., Bulgheresi S., Slatko B.E., Sternberg P.W., & Goodrich-Blair H. 2012. Nematode-bacterium symbioses – Cooperation and conflict revealed in the ‘omics’ age. Biological Bulletin 223(1):85-102.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Nematology
Margarita Flores
1447 Boyce Hall

Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-2364