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K-State Today

August 18, 2011

Entomology professor discusses research at two Brazilian universities

By David Margolies

Marcelo Ramahlo-Ortigao, associate professor of entomology, recently presented research seminars in the department of general biology at the Federal University of Vicosa, and in the department of genetics and evolution at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

His talk at Vicosa was on "Molecular aspects of sand fly-Leishmania interactions," while at Sao Carlos he spoke on "PpChit1 and PpPer1 and the dual role of the sand fly peritrophic membrane in Leishmania development." At both universities he also visited with students to discuss the possibility of their pursuing graduate degrees in entomology at K-State.

Ramahlo-Ortigao is a molecular biologist working on sand fly-leishmania interactions that cause diseases in humans. His research in the field of sand fly vectors addresses questions such as can we utilize molecules from the vector to prevent or halt parasite development, can we find sand fly molecules that have a broad application and can be applied to various sand fly-Leishmania pairs, and can people/animals be protected against leishmaniasis by using sand fly molecules?