Zhijian Tu
Professor
Faculty Member
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia United States
Website
jaketu@vt.edu

Areas of Expertise:
Sex-determination, RNA-seq, small RNA, TEs

Research Organisms:
Mosquitoes

 

Research Focus:

Mosquito transmitted diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, and encephalitis claim millions of lives worldwide each year. Current control measures are under threat as drug- and insecticide-resistance increases. Novel approaches are needed and needed urgently. My laboratory studies the basic genetics and physiology of mosquitoes with the long-term goal of reducing the burden of vector-borne infectious diseases.

My laboratory employs functional genomics, comparative genomics, and bioinformatics approaches to study genes involved in sex-determination and early embryonic development in mosquitoes. The above research topics will lead to mosquito control applications through the manipulation of sex ratios and mating behavior. A better understanding of embryonic development will contribute to new approaches to facilitate efficient and safe spread of refractory genes in mosquito populations to control infectious diseases. We are also interested in the function and evolution of non-coding RNAs and repetitive sequences.