Mosquitoes are important vectors of disease.
Mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, Dengue fever, West Nile fever, and
viral encephalitis result in millions of human deaths
each year worldwide and significant agricultural losses. Two mosquito species
(Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti) were
among the earliest insects chosen for genome sequencing,
which opens the door for functional genomics there as
Rollie Clem (Biology) is extending his studies of insect
apoptosis to focus on apoptosis in Aedes aegypti and its role in determining viral competence.
In addition, Michael Kanost (Biochemistry)
has initiated research on laccases and serpins in Anopheles gambiae.
Yoonseong Park (Entomology) studies endocrine
control of mosquito diuresis as a potential target
system in developing vector control strategy. This
project is currently funded by
NIH-COBRE, Center for Epithelial Function in Health and
Kun Yan Zhu's lab (Entomology) focuses on chitin
synthesis and inhibition in Anopheles quadrimaculatus
as an attractive target site for developing novel pest
control agents. This research is currently
supported by the NIH/K-INBRE program.