North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND United States
Areas of Expertise:
Manduca sexta, Megachile rotundata
Insects have been discovered to have multiple gene copies for insulin-like peptides (ILP), but it is unknown if all copies are functional. I'm interested in whether these ILP play a role in mediating immune responses such as sickness-induced anorexia. Another interest is the role of the insulin signaling pathway in insect development, more specifically during diapause which is another non-feeding period.
I'm interested in the immune response of sickness-induced anorexia (SIA). SIA is the cessation of feeding during an immune challenge. In other words, when we get sick, we lose our appetite and that helps us recover. SIA is believed to be a reallocation of energy towards immune function and is exhibited across varying animal taxa. However, although this response seems to be conserved across taxa, the mechanism behind it is not clear. Because insulin signaling is known to regulate feeding in vertebrates, I'm interested in finding if it also regulates feeding in invertebrates, therefore playing a role in this immune response.