Participants

Participation in the Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network is open to students (undergraduate and graduate), postdoctoral researchers, technical and scientific staff and independent investigators with an interest in insect science, genomics and genetic technologies. Knowledge of and/or expertise with insect genetic technologies is not required to participate in this network. In fact, those without specific knowledge of insect genetic technologies are especially encouraged to participate so that a broader understanding and application of these technologies can be developed.

As a participant you will be able to fully interact and access the resources on this site. You will be able to find experts interested in technologies or insect systems you are interested in, find consultants or collaborators and submit content to this site in the form of ‘posts’ to Technology Topics, Knowledgebase, Network Announcements and Activities.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Participant Contact Research Focus
Fotini Koutroumpa
ECOSENS, iEES-Paris
INRA Versailles
Versailles Ille de France France
fotini.koutroumpa@gmail.com

I am interested in the characterization of genes involved in insects' chemosensation and particularly the ones involved in pheromone and food perception
Kostas Mathiopoulos
Professor, Department Chair
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
University of Thessaly
Larissa Larissa Greece
kmathiop@bio.uth.gr

Molecular biology and genomics of economically important pests, particularly Tephritids. Focus on olfactory and reproductive systems. Study of the structure, function and evolution of the Y chromosome.
Anandrao Patil
CV
Department of Bioresource Science
Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India
Fukuoka Fukuoka Japan
anandbiotechniques@gmail.com
Laboratory of Insect Genome Science
Insect Molecular Biology, small non-coding RNAs
Lucia Proietti
CV
Zoology
Central University of Venezuela
Hialeah  Florida USA
proietti.dempaire@gmail.com

In my bachelor degree ( from Central University of Venezuela): I worked with Trypanosoma evansi and then I got some ability in trypanosomes diagnosis by PCR and supported the experiments about recombinant protein between T vivax cysteine protease and HSP70. In my PhD (from Ferrara University, Italy): I worked with T brucei 6PGDH. I studied:
Dylan Shropshire
Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt University
Nashville TN United States
dylan.shropshire@vanderbilt.edu

Endosymbiont genetics
Mamidala Praveen
Associate Professor
CV
Biotechnology
Telangana University
Nizamabad Telangana India
pmamidala@gmail.com
Laboratory of Functional Genomics
Functional genomics in non-model organisms
Austin Compton
Biochemistry
Virginia Tech
Newport Virginia United States
austc14@vt.edu

I am interested in delineating the biological mechanism of sex determination in different Anopheles mosquitoes by characterizing the role of male-determining (M) factors.
Alexander Piper
Research Scientist
Invertebrates and Weed Sciences
Agriculture Victoria Research
Bundoora VIC Australia
alexander.piper@ecodev.vic.gov.au
Chemical Ecology lab
My research focusses on fungal symbionts of pest insects and how microbial volatiles can mediate insect behaviour
Maria Kupper
Doctor of Science
CV
Chair of Microbiology
University of Wuerzburg
Wuerzburg Bavaria Germany
maria.kupper@freenet.de

My previous work as a doctoral researcher focussed on the involvement of the Camponotus floridanus immune system in the regulation and tolerance of its bacterial endosymbiont Blochmannia floridanus. I investigated the transcriptomic and proteomic responses of the ants upon immune challenge to provide an overview about ant immune factors. I also analysed differences in immune gene expression between endosymbiont bearing tissues and bacteria-free body parts to understand the role of the immune system in symbiont regulation. The results of the expression analysis revealed low expression levels of genes involved in immune signalling, and in addition the high expression of negative
mike tropak
dr
Genetics and Genome Biology
Sickkids
toronto ON Canada
mbt@sickkids.ca
Schulze
metabolism
Joseph Parker
Genetics and Development
Columbia University
New York NY United States
dibasic@gmail.com
Joe Parker
I study myrmecophilous rove beetles as a model for understanding the evolution and mechanistic basis of interspecies interactions. My aim is to develop certain species as laboratory models for deciphering the genetic and neurobiological basis of their symbioses with social insects.
Mridula Gupta
CV
Department of Entomology
Punjab Agricultural University, Regional Research Station, Faridkot
Faridkot Punjab India
mridulagupta10@gmail.com
Entomology Lab
Presently, I am working as Research Fellow at Punjab Agricultural University, Regional Station,Faridkot, Punjab, India. The prime focus of my research is to identify the vital targets/ genes in Bemisia tabaci, A. biguttulla biguttulla and Earias sp, which are amenable to RNAi. We are trying to target osomregulation in hemipeteran insect through downregulation of aquaporin, calcitonin like receptor and diuretic hormone (DH-31). In Earias sp our focus is on disruption of ecdysis and other vital physiological process such as vitellogensis. We are also trying to improve the efficiency of RNAi in hemipeteran and lepidopteran insects using nanoparticles (chitosan and carbon quantum
W. Cameron Jasper
PhD Candidate
Entomology and Nematology
UC Davis
Davis CA USA
wcjasper@ucdavis.edu
El Nino Bee Lab
My research focuses on the specialized "social" glands of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and how the regulation of gene expression within those glands underlies the bee's social organization.
Nilay Yapici
Assistant Professor, Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator
CV
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior
Cornell University
Ithaca  NY  USA
ny96@cornell.edu
Yapici Lab
Neural circuits that regulate behavioral states, decision making, motivation and food intake.
Željko Popović
Assistant professor
CV
Department of Biology and Ecology
University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences
Novi Sad Autonomous Province of Vojvodina Serbia
zeljko.popovic@dbe.uns.ac.rs
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
My research is focused primarily on molecular/biochemical basis of insect diapause and adaptation to low temperatures and dehydration. I am interested in the use of -omics studies in research on animal dormancy and adaptation as well as application of bioinformatics in this field.
Aniruddha Pandit
Mr
College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
University of Glasgow
Glasgow Scotland United Kingdom
Aniruddha.Pandit@glasgow.ac.uk

Bioinformatics, Transcriptomics, Pest Management, Entomology
kanakala surapathrudu
post doctoral Research fellow
Department of Entomology
Agricultural Research Organization
Bet Dagan, Israel. Israel Israel
kanakalavit@gmail.com

RNAi
Anja Pen
MSc.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University
Tjele Region Midt-Jylland Danmark
anja.pen@mbg.au.dk
Section for Molecular Genetics and Systems Biology
I am studying the effects of RNA on epigenetic marks in caste development of honey bees.
Camilo Ayra-Pardo
Postdoctoral researcher
Plant Division
CIGB
Havana Havana Cuba
cayrapardo73@gmail.com

My research experience covers the development of applied biotechnological solutions for the control of insect crop pests, as well as, the investigation of molecular aspects of host-pathogen interaction including the molecular mechanisms behind resistance evolution to microbial pesticides.
Stephen Panossian
Laboratory Animal Technician Assistant
Insect Transformation Facility
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
Silver Spring Maryland United States of America
stephenpanossian@gmail.com
Insect Transformation Facility
Supporting host-pathogen interaction (mosquito-Plasmodium) research.
Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski
Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida
Lake Alfred FL US
pelzstelinski@ufl.edu

Disruption of bacterial plant pathogen transmission, symbiosis, insect immunity
Tonya Colpitts
Assistant Professor
CV
Pathology Microbiology & Immunology
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Columbia SC USA
tonya.colpitts@uscmed.sc.edu
COLPITTS LAB
Our laboratory researches the interactions between arboviruses and mosquito vectors, with a focus on dengue virus and the Aedes midgut. We are also examining the impact of human serum components on mosquito immunity and virus infection and developing transmission blocking vaccines against arboviruses.
Daniel Pers
PhD Student
Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago IL USA
dpers88@gmail.com

Gene Regulatory Networks of Embryo Patterning
Prasad Paradkar
Senior Research Scientist
Health and Biosecurity
CSIRO
Geelong Victoria Australia
prasadnp@gmail.com
Vector-Borne Diseases
Interest in mosquito innate immunity against arboviruses. Our lab is working at identification of vector competence factors and whether we can manipulate these factors to prevent transmission.
Patricia Pietrantonio
Professor and AgriLife Research Fellow
Department of Entomology
Texas A&M University
College Station  TX USA
p-pietrantonio@tamu.edu
Insect Toxicology and Physiology
Insect and tick endocrinology with emphasis in G protein-coupled receptors
Keith Hopper
Dr.
CV
Beneficial Insect Introductions Research Unit
USDA-ARS
Newark DE USA
khopper@udel.edu
USDA-ARS-Beneficial Insect Introductions Research Unit
The central theme of my research is to determine the mechanisms affecting host specificity of parasitic and herbivorous insects. My lab is testing alternative hypotheses about the genetic architecture of specificity: many genes interacting epistatically versus few genes interacting additively. Evolutionary shifts are much less likely under the first hypothesis than under the second. We are studing the genomics and transcriptomics of differences in host specificity among insect species.
Rolando Rivera-Pomar
Professor and Investigator
Centro de Bioinvestigaciones
Universidad Nacional del Noroeste de Buenos Aires / National Science and Technology Research Council (CONICET)
Centro Regional de Estudios Genómicos
Pergamino Buenos Aires Argentina
rrivera@unnoba.edu.ar
Genetics and functional genomics
Our laboratory is interested in comparative genomics of insects. We study early developmental genes and their regulation with a focus on the segmentation process, insecticide resistance-related genes, and small peptides and neuropeptides in different insect species, some of them of medical and agricultural interest.
Maria-Dolors Piulachs
Research Scientist at CSIC
Functional Genomics and Evolution
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Barcelona APO/FPO EUROPE / ATLANTIC Spain
mdolors.piulachs@ibe.upf-csic.es
Insect reproduction Lab.
Our long term objective is to elucidate how the oogenesis in insects is regulated, considering the structural diversity of ovary types and their respective evolutionary history.
Marko Petek
PhD
Department of Biotechnology and Systems Biology
National Institute of Biology
Ljubljana Osrednjeslovenska Slovenia
marko.petek@nib.si

insect RNAi, plant-insect interactions, insect digestive enzymes
Bart Pannebakker
Assistant Professor
Laboratory of Genetics
Wageningen University
Wageningen Gelderland The Netherlands
bart.pannebakker@wur.nl

I am interested in the evolution and genomics of life-history traits and reproductive strategies in insects. My research focuses on the genetic and physiological mechanisms that underlie these traits in parasitoid wasps (insects that lay their eggs on other insects), and in honeybees. I am also Coordinator of BINGO-ITN: Breeding Invertebrates for Next Generation BioControl. BINGO is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network that develops innovative research training to improve the production and performance of natural enemies in biological control by the use of genetic variation for rearing, monitoring and performance.
Ewan CAMPBELL
Dr
School of Biological Sciences
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen Aberdeen City United Kingdom
e.m.campbell@abdn.ac.uk
Bowman Lab
I am interested in applying RNAi and gene silencing techniques to the field of agricultural and livestock pests with a focus on the major parasite of Honey bees, the Varroa mite. I have developed RNAi targets and delivery mechanisms in a range of species including Sea Lice, Ticks and mites. I am also interested in utilising RNAi and gene manipulation for the study of physiological pathways in ectoparasites, such as in host sensing, reproductive cues and blood feeding.
Kanapathy Gajapathy
Dr
CV
Department of Zoology
University of Jaffna
Jaffna Northernprovince Sri Lanka
gayan156@gmail.com
zoology laboratory; molecular biology laboratory in University of jaffna
Focusing on evolution and phylogeny of arthropods; specifically spiders and vector species among insects
Nitin Gupta
Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences and Bioengineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Kanpur UP India
nitiniitk@gmail.com

I am interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms used by neural circuits for processing information in deeper layers of the mosquito olfactory system (sense of smell). I am particularly interested in understanding the neural mechanisms by which specific odors become attractive or aversive to mosquitoes. I plan to use a variety of techniques, including in vivo electrophysiology (intracellular recordings), histology, behavioral observations, and computational modeling. I am looking to collaborate with researchers who have expertise in genetic manipulations of mosquitoes. I am also looking to hire post-docs and PhD students in my lab.
sekhar srikakolapu
Mr.
CV
laboratory of molecular genetics
Center for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics
hyderabad Andhra Pradesh india
sekharsri5@gmail.com
Laboratory Of molecular genetics
Elucidation of alternative Splicing mechanism and genome editing through CRISPR Cas9 in Bombyx mori
Peter Piermarini
Assistant Professor
Entomology
The Ohio State University
Wooster OH USA
piermarini.1@osu.edu

My lab investigates the molecular physiology of mosquito vectors with a focus on the excretory system.
kailash lipne
Research and development
Mahyco Research centre, Jalna
Jalna Maharashtra INDIA
kailash.lipne@gmail.com
Research associate
RNAi technology, Insecticidal gene discovery.
Kimberly Stephens
Entomology
University of California - Riverside
Riverside California United States
kstep002@ucr.edu

Sperm motility and sperm-egg interactions
Isabel Campos
Fly Platform Manager
Fly Platfrom
Champalimaud Foundation
Lisboa Lisboa  Portugal
isabel.campos@neuro.fchampalimaud.org
CF Fly Platform
The CF Fly Platform contributes to CF researchers’ best performance by providing state of the art conditions for fly breeding, maintenance and manipulation, at the same time as offering a range of technical services conducted by a specialized team, headed by an experienced manager with more than 10 years of Drosophila genetics post doctoral training.
Gary Puterka
Research scientist
Wheat, Peanut, other crops research unit, USDA-ARS
USDA-ARS
Stillwater OK USA
gary.puterka@ars.usda.gov
USDA-ARS, Wheat, peanuts, and other crops research unit
Aphid Pest Management/genetics; Wheat, Barley, and Sorghum aphid resistant germplasm development
Wei Peng
Huazhong Agricultural University
College of Plant Science and Technology
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Hubei Key Laboratory of Insect Resource Application and Sustainable Pest Control and Institute of Urban and Horticultural Pests
Wuhan Hubei China
pengweijack@163.com
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Hubei Key Laboratory of Insect Resource Application and Sustainable Pest Control and Institute of Urban and Horticultural Pests
The molecular regulation of sex determination and female-specific lethality or embryonic conditional lethality in Bactrocera species 
Karl Joplin
Associate Professor
Biological Sciences
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City Tennessee USA
joplin@etsu.edu
Karl Joplin
Physiology and molecular biology of diapause, Insect behavior and circadian rhythms, Stress response of insects
prof prem raj pushpakaran
professor
BioTechnology
NITC
calicut kerala india
drpremrajp@nitc.ac.in

immunology, bio-informatics
Ashley Peery
Entomology
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg VA United States
peerya2@vt.edu

As I pursue my PhD I am using comparative genomics to investigate evolutionary changes between species of Anopheles mosquitoes. I have created a chromosome based genome assembly for Anopheles stephensi which has allowed characterization of molecular features including genes, transposable elements, simple repeats and scaffold or matrix associated regions within the genome. I am interested in how molecular features within the genome impact the propensity for the genome to change via chromosomal inversions. The 16 genomes project has also allowed me to characterize the molecular features within the mapped genomes of mosquitoes representing ~100 MY of Anopheles evolution. This
durga prasad
Dr
Entomology - cotton
Regional Agricultural Research Station,Lam,Guntur,Andhra Pradesh -522034,India
Guntur Andhra Pradesh India
nemanidp@yahoo.com
Cotton entomology lab
Insect Toxicology
Jason Pitts
Research Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences
Baylor University
Nashville Tennessee United States
jason_pitts@baylor.edu

I am interested in answering fundamental questions about the chemical ecology and sensory biology of disease vector insects. Chemoreception is a major driver of multiple insect behaviors, all of which are critical for survival and reproduction. The molecular basis for many peripheral chemoreception events is still poorly understood, although some insect chemoreceptor gene families, such as odorant receptors and variant ionotropic receptors, have been identified. My research is focused on many aspects of insect chemosensation including novel gene discovery, gene expression analysis, and receptor function. My long-term objective is to contribute to reductions in human disease transmission at the local
Valeria Petrella
PhD
CV
biology
University of Naples "Federico II"
Napoli Italy Italy
valeria.petrella@unina.it
Insects Molecular Genetics
I'm a postdoctoral researcher with a broad interest in Molecular Genetics. My main research focuses on the study of sex determining mechanisms in insects and biotech approaches to control pest insects, with particular interest on diptera (Ceratitis capitata, aedes aegypti, aedes albopictus, phlebotomus perniciosus). In 2014 I've joined the Giuseppe Saccone and Marco Salvemini group as a Post. Doc with a one-year fellowship entitled "Comparative Population Transcriptomics To Uncover Sex Determination of Aedes albopictus and Phlebotomus perniciosus, Two Emerging Haematophagous Insect Species". Then main goal of my project is the molecular charachterization and functional analysis of genes
Maria P Zappia
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago IL USA
mpzappia@uic.edu

The E2F transcription factor regulates the expression of genes involved in a broad range of processes including cell cycle progression, cell differentiation and cell death. Our group recently discovered a novel role for E2F in the regulation of mitochondrial activity.
Fillip Port
PhD
Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics
DKFZ German Cancer Research Center
Heidelberg BW Germany
fport@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk

We develop methods for CRISPR/Cas genome engineering in Drosophila melanogaster. Our tools and protocols are freely available via our website crisprflydesign.org, the plasmid repository Addgene and the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center.
Kimberly Paczolt
Postdoctoral Fellow
CV
Biology
University of Maryland
College Park Maryland USA
kpaczolt@umd.edu
Wilkinson Lab
I am studying the evolution of the meiotic drive X chromosome in stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis dalmanni) from both a genetic and organismal perspective. First, I am working to identify genes involved in the meiotic drive pathway, which has arisen independently from other well known drive systems. Second, I am interested in understanding how the meiotic drive X chromosome affects the evolution of morphology and behavior in populations and species of stalk-eyed flies.
Komal kumar Bollepogu Raja
student
Biochemistry and Molecular biology
Michigan Technological University
Houghton Michigan USA
kbollepo@mtu.edu

Studying complex color patterns in new model organisms
Daniel Bopp
Dr
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
University of Zurich
Zurich Zurich Switzerland
daniel.bopp@imls.uzh.ch
Evolution of sex determination pathways
We are studying the evolution of sex determining pathways by comparing the pathway in Drosophila melanogaster to those of the housefly Musca domestica and the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. We find that the genes at the end of the Drosophila pathway, doublesex and its direct regulators, transformer and transformer2 are highly conserved and probably part of an ancient module that controls sexual differentiation in holometabolous insects . In contrast, genes upstream at the signaling end of the cascade have largely diverged between the different insect species. We are presently analysing the structure and function of such regulatory genes
Omaththage Perera
Research Entomologist
Southern Insect Management Research Unit
USDA-ARS
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Stoneville MS USA
op.perera@ars.usda.gov

Genetics, population genetics, and molecular biology of crop pests
Ariel Chipman
Prof.
Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem Israel Israel
ariel.chipman@huji.ac.il

Arthropod evo-devo
Marcos Pereira
Full Professor
Department of Parasitology
Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Belo Horizonte Minas Gerais Brazil
marcoshp@icb.ufmg.br
Laboratory of Physiology of Hematophagous Insects
Our group is dedicated to the study of feeding behaviour and of bioactive molecules from blood-sucking insects. We use distinct and complementary approaches to investigate of the feeding process involving electrophysiology and image analysis. These evaluations are complemented by biochemical characterization of molecules present in the insect saliva and midgut that assist in the blood meal and with functional analysis (RNAi) of target genes in vivo.
William Stumph
Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
San Diego State University
San Diego CA USA
wstumph@mail.sdsu.edu

My lab studies the formation of RNA polymerase II and RNA polymerase III transcription pre-initiation complexes on genes that code for the small nuclear RNAs (U1-U6). We are interested in the molecular mechanisms that determine the RNA polymerase specificity of these genes (Pol II on U1-U5 versus Pol III on U6). We particularly study the snRNA gene-specific transcription factor SNAPc that binds about 40 to 60 base pairs upstream of both classes of genes.
Dr. ATUL KUMAR PANDEY
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Alexander Silberman Institute of life sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Jerusalem Jerusalem Israel
atulkumarpandey@gmail.com
Sociobiology Lab
Sociobiological, physiological and behavioural studies of sleep and its deprivational consequences
Nico Posnien
Department of Developmental Biology
Georg-August-University Göttingen
Göttingen Lower Saxony Germany
nico.posnien@gmail.com

My main focus of our research is understanding the molecular basis of natural variation in complex morphological traits. We mainly work on insect and spider systems and apply genome wide approaches in combination with classical developmental biology methods.
Graham Thompson
Associate Professor
Biology
Western University
London Ontario Canada
graham.thompson@uwo.ca
The Social Biology Group
My lab studies the biological basis of insect social behaviour; how it evolves, how it is maintained and why some species are social while others are not. Much like human societies, eusocial ants, bees, wasps and termites show bewildering complexity in how their societies are structured. Yet for insects, this complexity is derived from an economically simple division of labour into reproductive and non-reproductive specialists. Studying reproductive division of labour in insects at the level of the gene can provide key insights into how complex social systems evolved from simpler, ancestral ones. Studies on social insects can also help understand
Umut Toprak
Associate Professor
CV
Plant Protection/Entomology
Ankara University
Ankara Ankara Turkey
utoprak@agri.ankara.edu.tr
Molecular Entomology (MOLEN) Lab.
My primary research goals are directed towards understanding insect physiological systems using molecular tools and developing new insect control strategies targeting these systems. My current research is focused on: 1) Identification of insect midgut genes and understanding their functions, specifically in lepidopterans and coleopterans 2) Understanding insect lipid metabolism, particularly related to diapause 3) Development of baculoviral biopesticides and their formulation by synergistics targeting insect midgut defense physiology and function
Patricia Wittkopp
Associate Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor Michigan USA
wittkopp@umich.edu
Wittkopp lab
Our research investigates the genetic basis of phenotypic evolution. The evolution of development, especially mechanisms controlling gene regulation, are of particular interest. Molecular and developmental biology, population and quantitative genetics, genomics and bioinformatics are integrated in this work.
Christopher Potter
Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore MD USA
cpotter@jhmi.edu
Potter Lab
We are interested in the neural mechanisms underlying insect olfaction. We have initially focused on Drosophila melanogaster, and will extend our research into Anopheles gambiae.
LALITA GUPTA
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Birla Institute of Technology & Science- Pilani
Pilani Rajasthan INDIA
lalitagupta@yahoo.com
Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology
Mosquito Immunity. Host-Parasite Interaction
Brenda Oppert
Research Molecular Biologist
CV
Stored Products Insects Research Unit
USDA Agricultural Research Service, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research
Manhattan KS USA
bso@ksu.edu
BeetleLab
Although my background is protein chemistry, in 2007 our lab research focus shifted to high throughput sequencing to address functional genomics related to stored product insects. We now use sequencing in the evaluation of differential gene expression in insects fed microbial toxins or protease inhibitors, among others. We also were involved in the annotation of the Tribolium genome, particularly protease genes, and now are working with collaborators to sequence the genome of the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica. To evaluate data from these sequencing projects, we have developed data management infrastructure and analysis algorithms for in-house bioinformatics.
Sara Oppenheim
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
American Museum of Natural History
NY NY USA
saraoppenheim@gmail.com

The evolution of host plant use and diet breadth in specialists and generalists.
Emilie Pondeville
Dr
Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Glasgow Glasgow Scotland, UK
emilie.pondeville@glasgow.ac.uk

Reproduction and immunity in mosquito vectors using genetic tools
Don Champagne
Associate Professor
Entomology/Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases
University of Georgia
Athens Georgia USA
dchampa@uga.edu
Champagne Lab
I am interested in characterizing salivary factors that facilitate blood feeding by arthropods. More specifically, I am interested in proteins and peptides that modulate vertebrate hemostatic, inflammatory, and immune responses.
Nazzy Pakpour
Assistant Project Scientist
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
University of California Davis
Davis CALIFORNIA USA
npakpour@ucdavis.edu
Nazzy Pakpour
To elucidate the bidirectional effects of malaria on type 2 diabetes and of type 2 diabetes on malaria. By 2030, one in five adults on the African continent will have type 2 diabetes, resulting in epidemic co-morbidity of these diseases. Therefore, a better understanding of the intersection of malaria infection and type 2 diabetes will be critical for the development of future clinical interventions to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes complications as well as malaria transmission.
Punya Nachappa
Assistant Professor
CV
Biology
Indiana University-Purdue University
Fort Wayne Indiana United States
nachappa@ipfw.edu

My research seeks to understand the ecological consequences and molecular mechanisms underlying the interactions between plants, pathogens, and insect vectors. The two key questions of my research program are: (1) how do pathogens affect biology and ecology of their hosts including, insects and plants? and (2) what plant and/or insect responses mediate plant-pathogen-vector interactions?
Naomi Pierce
Hessel Professor of Biology
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge MA USA
npierce@oeb.harvard.edu
Pierce lab
Research in the Pierce lab focuses on the behavioral ecology of insect interactions, including mutualisms between social insects and other species, microbiota/ host associations, and insect/plant coevolution. We’ve used molecular characters to reconstruct the evolutionary history of a range of insects (mostly ants, bees, butterflies and moths), and comparative methods to study adaptation and life history evolution, biogeography, rates of diversification and patterns of community assembly. At a functional level, we are also exploring proximate mechanisms underlying trade-offs in a model genetic plant–pathogen–insect system, as well as the interplay of genetics and the environment in the evolution of social behavior
Jackson Sparks
Postdoctoral Research Entomologist
Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Lab
ARS-USDA
Beltsville MD USA
jackson.sparks@ars.usda.gov

Our research is aimed at characterizing the molecular components of the mosquito chemosensory repertoire. Our mission is to deliver methods to identify novel repellents or repellent blends. We hope to identify all major molecular classes susceptible to repellent effects in order to screen novel compounds or mixtures. The significance of individual chemosensory genes are validated through chemosensory organ expression analyses, genetic manipulation and electrophysiological and behavioral assays.
Utpal Pal
Associate Professor
Veterinary Medicine
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park MD USA
upal@umd.edu

Our research interest focuses on better understanding the host-pathogen interaction involving the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the arthropod vector, Ixodes scapularis ticks. Our goals are to identify novel virulence determinants of B. burgdorferi as well as vector gene-products that play critical roles for successful persistence of the pathogen in the tick-rodent infectious cycle, and use this information to interfere with the infection.
Jae Park
Assoc Professor
BCMB
Univ. of Tennessee
Knoxville TN USA
jae.park99@gmail.com

Our research interests are to understand the molecular mechanisms of the programmed cell death in the nervous system using Drosophila as a model. We also have interests in elucidating biological functions of various peptidergic neurons.
Claude Desplan
Professor
CV
Biology
NYU
New York New York United States
cd38@nyu.edu
Molecular Genetics
EVO-DEVO: Evolution of axis formation using the wasp Nasonia. Different strategies are used in insects to establish embryonic polarity. In the ancestral short-germ mode of development, nuclei fated to become the embryo are restricted to the posterior end of the egg while the anterior of the egg develops as extra-embryonic membranes. Only anterior segments are patterned at the syncytial blastoderm while abdominal segments form in a posterior growth zone. This system relies on a single posterior morphogenetic center whereby a localized posterior determinant (nanos) is responsible for forming gradients of factors that pattern head and thorax. In the derived long-germ
Margareth Capurro
Associate Professor
Dept Parasitology
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo SP Brazil
mcapurro@icb.usp.br
Genetically Modify Mosquitoes
Produce transgenic mosquitoes that can block dengue transmission. Also I am the Coordinator for PAT - Aedes transgenic Project that is the evaluation of OX513A Aedes aegypti strain in field releases studies in Brazil.
Dominic Esposito
Director
Protein Expression Laboratory
Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research
Frederick MD USA
dom.esposito@fnlcr.nih.gov
Protein Expression Laboratory
Generation of recombinant DNA and proteins in support of the National Cancer Institute's RAS initiative.
Steve Paterson
Professor
CV
Centre for Genomic Research
University of Liverpool
Liverpool Merseyside UK
s.paterson@liv.ac.uk
Centre for Genomic Research
Genomics and population genetics, particularly of host-parasite interactions. Bioinformatics, including RNAseq, de novo assembly and annotation. Sequenced Plodia interpunctella genome.
Yoonseong Park
Professor
Entomology
Kansas State University
Manhattan Kansas USA
ypark@ksu.edu
Arthropod Molecular Physiology Laboratory
We study molecular physiology of arthropod species to gain fundamental knowledge and to apply the knowledge to improve human life. 1. My research focuses on evolution of neuropepetides, their receptors, and functions. Model arthropods that we study are the species fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), and blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). 2. Ticks are obligatory ectoparasites that feed on the blood of vertebrate hosts and often transmit pathogens. We investigate neural and hormonal mechanisms controlling salivary secretion, involving multiple neuropeptides and catecholamines.
Kristina Pilitt
technician
O'Brochta Lab
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
University of Maryland, College Park
Rockville MD USA
gene_queen76@hotmail.com
Faculty Research Assistant
Molecular genetic studies using piggBac transposon-based gene-, enhancer-, promoter-trapping system transformation vectors for creating transgenic Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Genotype analysis and characterization of transgenic mosquito lines using molecular techniques such as splinkerette PCR, inverse PCR and gene expression studies using quantitative RT-PCR.