K-State Division of Biology


Kristin Michel

Associate Professor

Ph.D. 2002, University of California - Riverside

Research interests: host-pathogen interactions, insect immunology, vector biology, malaria

267 Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-0161

Michel Laboratory
Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology Web

Research Focus

My laboratory studies the innate immune system of mosquitoes and how it relates to the pathogens these insects transmit. Over the last years, we have identified a variety of immune factors that either positively or negatively affect the survival of the malaria parasite in its mosquito vector. Specifically, we are currently focusing our research effort on a group of serine protease inhibitors called serpins. These proteins control key innate immune reactions against different stages of the malaria parasite and potentially other disease agents. Our long term goal is to apply our findings to the design of novel disease control strategies, which envision the interruption of disease transmission within the mosquito vector.

Selected Research Publications

To view the publication list below in NCBI, please click here.

An C, Lovell S, Kanost MR, Battaile KP, Michel K. Crystal structure of native Anopheles gambiae serpin-2, a negative regulator of melanization in mosquitoes. Proteins. 2011 Jun;79(6):1999-2003. doi: 10.1002/prot.23002. Epub 2011 Apr 4. PMID: 21465556, PMCID: PMC3092802

An C, Budd A, Kanost MR, Michel K. Characterization of a regulatory unit that controls melanization and affects longevity of mosquitoes. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Jun;68(11):1929-39. Epub 2010 Oct 17. PMID: 20953892, PMCID: PMC3070200

Bartholomay LC, Waterhouse RM, Mayhew GF, Campbell CL, Michel K, Zou Z, Ramirez JL, Das S, Alvarez K, Arensburger P, Bryant B, Chapman SB, Dong Y, Erickson SM, Karunaratne SH, Kokoza V, Kodira CD, Pignatelli P, Shin SW, Vanlandingham DL, Atkinson PW, Birren B, et al. Pathogenomics of Culex quinquefasciatus and meta-analysis of infection responses to diverse pathogens. Science. 2010 Oct 1;330(6000):88-90. PMID: 20929811, PMCID: PMC3104938

Mueller AK, Kohlhepp F, Hammerschmidt C, Michel K. Invasion of mosquito salivary glands by malaria parasites: prerequisites and defense strategies. Int J Parasitol. 2010 Sep;40(11):1229-35. Epub 2010 Jun 8. Review. PMID: 20621627, PMCID: PMC2916662

Pinto SB, Lombardo F, Koutsos AC, Waterhouse RM, McKay K, An C, Ramakrishnan C, Kafatos FC, Michel K. Discovery of Plasmodium modulators by genome-wide analysis of circulating hemocytes in Anopheles gambiae. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 15;106(50):21270-5. Epub 2009 Nov 25. PMID: 19940242, PMCID: PMC2783009

Pinto SB, Kafatos FC, Michel K. The parasite invasion marker SRPN6 reduces sporozoite numbers in salivary glands of Anopheles gambiae. Cell Microbiol. 2008 Apr;10(4):891-8. Epub 2007 Nov 14.PubMed PMID: 18005239

Michel K, Suwanchaichinda C, Morlais I, Lambrechts L, Cohuet A, Awono-Ambene PH, Simard F, Fontenille D, Kanost MR, Kafatos FC. Increased melanizing activity in Anopheles gambiae does not affect development of Plasmodium falciparum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Nov 7;103(45):16858-63. Epub 2006 Oct 25. PMID: 17065316, PMCID: PMC1636544

Abraham EG, Pinto SB, Ghosh A, Vanlandingham DL, Budd A, Higgs S, Kafatos FC, Jacobs-Lorena M, Michel K. An immune-responsive serpin, SRPN6, mediates mosquito defense against malaria parasites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 8;102(45):16327-32. Epub 2005 Oct 31. PMID: 16260729, PMCID: PMC1283470

Michel K, Budd A, Pinto S, Gibson TJ, Kafatos FC. Anopheles gambiae SRPN2 facilitates midgut invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. EMBO Rep.  2005 Sep;6(9):891-7. PMID: 16113656, PMCID: PMC1369158

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