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Division of Biology

Rollie J.Clem, Professor


Contact information

268 Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-3172


Ph.D. 1994, University of Georgia.

Area(s) of Specialization

Regulation of apoptosis in insects; arbovirus-mosquito interactions; molecular biology of insect viruses

Research Focus

Our work mainly focuses on the interactions between arboviruses and mosquitoes.  We are using the mosquito Aedes aegypti and arboviruses such as Sindbis, dengue, and chikungunya viruses to study these interactions.  The overall question driving our research is determining why certain mosquitoes are able to serve as vectors of arboviruses, even though most mosquitoes are not.  We are particularly interested in the role of apoptosis in antiviral defense, and in determinants of midgut escape by arboviruses.  We use molecular and biochemical techniques to investigate these processes.  We also have ongoing projects related to the molecular biology of baculoviruses and their interactions with lepidopteran hosts.

Selected Publications

Franz, A.W.E., Clem, R.J., and A.L. Passarelli.  2014.  Novel genetic and molecular tools for the investigation and control of dengue virus transmission by mosquitoesCurrent Tropical Medicine Reports. 1:21-31.

Clem, R.J. and A.L. Passarelli.  2013.  Baculoviruses: Sophisticated pathogens of insectsPLoS Pathogens 9(11): e1003729. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003729.

Huang, N., Civciristov, S., Hawkins, C.J., and R.J. Clem.  2013.  SfDronc, an initiator caspase involved innapoptosis in the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperdaInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 43:444-454.

Liu, B., Behura, S.K., Clem R.J., Schneemann, A., Becnel, J., Severson, D.W., and L. Zhou.  2013.  P53-mediated rapid induction of apoptosis conveys resistance to viral infection in Drosophila melanogaster PLoS Pathogens 9:e1003137. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003137.

Wu, W., Clem, R.J., Rohrmann, G., and A.L. Passarelli. 2013. The baculovirus sulfhydryl oxidase Ac92 (P33) interacts with the Spodoptera frugiperda P53 protein and oxidizes it in vitroVirology 447:197-207.

Brand, I.L., Civciristov, S., Taylor, N.L., Talbo, G.H., Pantaki-Eimany, D., Levina, V. Clem, R.J., Perugini, M.A., Kvansakul, M., and C.J. Hawkins. 2012. Caspase inhibitors of the p35 family are more active when purified from yeast than bacteria. PLoS One 7:e39248.  doi:10.1371/jounrnal.pone.0039248.

Wang, H., Gort, T., Boyle, D.L., and R.J. Clem. 2012. Effects of manipulating apoptosis on Sindbis virus infection of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  Journal of Virology86:6546-6554.

View the complete publication list in NCBI