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K-State Today

July 16, 2012



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services names Michel to the Center for Scientific Review's Vector Biology Study Section

By Communications and Marketing

Kristin Michel

Kristin Michel, assistant professor of biology, is a new member of the NIH's Vector Biology Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.

Her term runs for six years and began July 1.

Study section members are selected on their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant activities, achievements and honors.

Service on the study section requires mature judgment and objectively, as well as the ability to work effectively in a group.

Study sections review grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health, make recommendations on the applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of sciences.

Michel, an assistant professor of biology, studies the innate immune system of mosquitoes and how it relates to the pathogens they transmit. She specifically works with Anopheles gambiae s.s. mosquitoes, the species most responsible for malaria transmission in Africa.

Her lab has identified a variety of immune factors that either positively or negatively affect the survival of the malaria parasite in its mosquito vector. She and her research team are focusing on a group of serine protease inhibitors called serpins. These proteins control key innate immune reactions against different stages of the malaria parasite, and could potentially control reactions against other disease agents. Michel's long-term goal is to apply her lab's findings to the design of novel disease control strategies that could interrupt disease transmission within the mosquito vector.

Her work has continuously been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources and more. As the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, her work has appeared in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, EMBO Reports, Journal of Cellular Microbiology, International Journal of Parasitology, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, and several others. She also serves as a reviewer for professional journals and scientific publishers. Michel has presented her work at conferences and research seminars across the U.S. and in Europe.