Lecturer in Evolutionary Genetics
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool, Merseyside UK
Areas of Expertise:
insecticide resistance, reporter assays, taqman, resistance diagnostics, microarrays
Anopheles gambiae, Culex quinquefasciatus
My current research uses molecular and evolutionary genetic techniques and principles to address problems in tropical medicine, principally the molecular genetics of insect disease vectors primarily in Anopheles mosquitoes but more recently on the Culex vectors of lymphatic filariasis.
The main focus of my research is the genetic basis of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. Resistance to the insecticides used in vector control represents a possible impediment to effective control strategies and an understanding of the genetic basis of this resistance would aid not only in the development of improved insecticide formulations, and hence more effective control measures, but also allow the development of genetic tests to rapidly measure the extent and spread of resistance. My work has used a variety of approaches including whole genome Agilent gene expression microarrays, qPCR, association mapping using the Illumina GoldenGate assay, targeted re-sequencing, and in vitro expression of identified candidates in bacterial and insect cell lines. I am particularly interested in methods to identify the regulatory variants underpinning the gene expression changes seen in insecticide resistant mosquitoes and to this end use reporter assays to study the activity of promoter sequences of candidate detoxification genes, and am involved in a project to characterise the microRNA repertoire (key post transcriptional regulators of genes) in An. gambiae (with Rodolphe Poupardin and Hilary Ranson, LSTM).