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Michel Lab

Michel Lab

Mailing Address
Kansas State University
Division of Biology
267 Chalmers Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
USA

Phone
office +1-785-532-0161
lab +1-785-532-0183
insectary +1-785-532-5837

Fax
+1-785-532-6653

email

Welcome to the Michel Laboratory

Our laboratory studies host-pathogen interactions important for malaria and arboviral disease transmission.

Specifically, we study the innate immune system of mosquitoes and biting midges and how it relates to the pathogens these insects transmit. Over the last eight 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.

We are currently focusing our research efforts in two areas. The first is the characterization of 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. The second focus is the analysis of cellular immunity in mosquitoes and their contribution to malaria parasite transmission. We are determining the mechanisms that lead to hemocyte proliferation and activation in adult female mosquitoes.

To do our work, we use techniques from a wide range of fields including bioinformatics, biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology, genetics, and ecology. In addition, we continue to expand the molecular tool box for non-model insects to identify intrinsic factors of vector competence. Our long term goal is to apply our findings to the design of novel vector control strategies, which envision the interruption of disease transmission within the insect vector by chemical means.

The mosquito's immune system
A brief overview of the innate immune system in mosquitoes.

Serpins
Learn more about these fascinating proteins and how they affect parasite development in the mosquito vector.

Hemocytes
Circulatory cells in insects and their function in mosquito immunity.

Tool Development
Check out how we expand the molecular tool belt of non-model insect vectors.