michael mulot
Postdoctoral Student
RALEIGH, North Carolina United States

Areas of Expertise:
cell and molecular biology, RNAi , insect-plant-virus interactions, virus transmission

Research Organisms:


Research Focus:

After my bachelor’s degree graduation in Cellular and Molecular Biology, I extended my knowledge by studying in the Master of Molecular Genetics of Development and Stem Cells, using mainly Embryology and Oncology as supports to learn the methodological and technological approaches of Molecular and Cellular Biology. With this strong background in Developmental Biology, I expected to pursue my career in the study of human cancers or stem cells. However, my Developmental Biology teachers at the time were working on antibacterial and antiviral immunity pathways of D. melanogaster in the laboratory of the Nobel Prize winner Pr. Jules Hoffman. Therefore, I decided to join them for my two mandatory internships. Whereas Prof. Jean-Marc Reichhart and Prof. Jean-Luc Imler (current Director of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Strasbourg, France) successively mentored me, I acquired knowledge in Genetics, Immunity, Microbiology and Entomology. That was the key to join the laboratory of Dr. Véronique Brault (current Director of the Joint Research Unit Grapevine Health and Wine Quality at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, in Colmar, France). Under her supervision, I conducted my PhD research on the genetics and molecular mechanisms of phytoviruses transmission by aphids. I notably fine-tuned and compared several RNAi methods with the aim to perform the functional validation of aphid candidate genes (Mulot et al., Viruses, 2016). These methods allowed me to identify an aphid tyrosine kinase involved in the transmission of poleroviruses (Mulot et al, Frontiers In Microbiology, 2018), making it the second phytovirus receptor identified by functional validation into an insect vector. During my PhD, I have given four talks in national and international congress and presented two posters. Moreover, I have been selected to participate in the 2017 regional final of the “My thesis in 180 seconds” contest where I was awarded a special jury prize. I defended my PhD thesis in 2018 and joined the laboratory of Prof. Anna Whitfield in December 2018 to work on the transmission of the Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) by thrips and on the characterization of transgenic plants expressing RNAi molecules targeting Tospovirus genomes.