Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS USA
Areas of Expertise:
Manduca sexta, Tribolium castaneum, Anopheles gambiae, Drosophila melanogaster
My laboratory is investigating proteins present in the hemolymph (blood) of insects, with special interest in the proteins' functions in the insect immune system. We are studying plasma proteins, including prophenoloxidase, serine proteases, protease inhibitors from the serpin superfamily, and proteins that bind to microbial polysaccharides. The long range goal is to understand the biochemical and cellular processes by which insect immune systems recognize and respond to pathogens and parasites. We also investigate the biochemistry of cuticle proteins and their roles in determining mechanical properties of insect exoskeletons. A third current research area is the biochemistry of multicopper oxidases in insects. Our laboratory is coordinating the annotation and publication of the recently sequenced genome of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta.