Kristin Michel, Professor

Kristin Michel

Contact information

267 Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-0161

Lab website:


Ph.D. 2002, University of California-Riverside. Entomology.

Area(s) of Specialization

Host-pathogen interactions; Bacterial and fungal entomopathogens; Vector biology.

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.

Recent Primary Research Articles

Rhodes VL, Thomas MB, Michel K. 2018. The interplay between dose and immune system activation determines fungal infection outcome in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Dev Comp Immunol. 2018 Aug;85:125-133. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 Apr 9. PubMed PMID: 29649553; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5935592.

Mills MK, Nayduch D, McVey DS, Michel K. 2017. Functional Validation of Apoptosis Genes IAP1 and DRONC in Midgut Tissue of the Biting Midge Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) by RNAi. Journal of Medical Entomology 54(3):559-567. PubMed PMID: 28399198, PMCID: PMC5502902

Zhang X, An C, Sprigg K, Michel K. 2016. CLIPB8 is part of the prophenoloxidase activation system in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 71:106-15. PubMed PMID: 26926112, PMCID: PMC4828722

Bryant WB, Michel K. 2016. Anopheles gambiae hemocytes exhibit transient states of activation. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 55:119-29. PubMed PMID: 26515540, PMCID: PMC4685016

Zhang X, Meekins DA, An C, Zolkiewski M, Battaile KP, Kanost MR, Lovell S, Michel K. 2015. Structural and inhibitory effects of hinge loop mutagenesis in serpin-2 from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 290(5):2946-56. PubMed PMID: 25525260, PMCID: PMC4317006

Bryant WB, Michel K. 2014. Blood feeding induces hemocyte proliferation and activation in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae Giles. The Journal of Experimental Biology 217(Pt 8):1238-45. PubMed PMID: 24363411, PMCID: PMC3990356

Review Articles

Tawidian P, Rhodes VL, Michel K. 2019. Mosquito-fungus interactions and antifungal immunity. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 Aug;111:103182. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2019.103182. Epub 2019 Jun 29. Review. PubMed PMID: 31265904; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6639037.

Bartholomay LC, Michel K. 2018. Mosquito Immunobiology: The Intersection of Vector Health and Vector Competence. Annu Rev Entomol. 2018 Jan 7;63:145-167. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-010715-023530. Review. PubMed PMID: 29324042.

Meekins DA, Kanost MR, Michel K. 2017. Serpins in arthropod biology. Seminars in cell & developmental biology 62:105-119. PubMed PMID: 27603121, PMCID: PMC5318264

View the complete publication list in NCBI