Participants

Participation in the Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network is open to students (undergraduate and graduate), postdoctoral researchers, technical and scientific staff and independent investigators with an interest in insect science, genomics, and genetic technologies. Knowledge of and/or expertise with insect genetic technologies is not required to participate in this network. In fact, those without specific knowledge of insect genetic technologies are especially encouraged to participate so that a broader understanding and application of these technologies can be developed.

As a participant, you will be able to fully interact and access the resources on this site. You will be able to find experts interested in technologies or insect systems you are interested in, find consultants or collaborators and submit content to this site in the form of ‘posts’ to Technology Topics, Knowledgebase, Network Announcements, and Activities.


 

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Participant Contact Research Focus
Kristina Pilitt
technician
O'Brochta Lab
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
University of Maryland, College Park
Rockville MD USA
gene_queen76@hotmail.com
Faculty Research Assistant
Molecular genetic studies using piggBac transposon-based gene-, enhancer-, promoter-trapping system transformation vectors for creating transgenic Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Genotype analysis and characterization of transgenic mosquito lines using molecular techniques such as splinkerette PCR, inverse PCR and gene expression studies using quantitative RT-PCR.
Fillip Port
PhD
Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics
DKFZ German Cancer Research Center
Heidelberg BW Germany
fport@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk

We develop methods for CRISPR/Cas genome engineering in Drosophila melanogaster. Our tools and protocols are freely available via our website crisprflydesign.org, the plasmid repository Addgene and the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center.
Nazzy Pakpour
Assistant Project Scientist
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
University of California Davis
Davis CALIFORNIA USA
npakpour@ucdavis.edu
Nazzy Pakpour
To elucidate the bidirectional effects of malaria on type 2 diabetes and of type 2 diabetes on malaria. By 2030, one in five adults on the African continent will have type 2 diabetes, resulting in epidemic co-morbidity of these diseases. Therefore, a better understanding of the intersection of malaria infection and type 2 diabetes will be critical for the development of future clinical interventions to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes complications as well as malaria transmission.
Kimberly Paczolt
Postdoctoral Fellow
CV
Biology
University of Maryland
College Park Maryland USA
kpaczolt@umd.edu
Wilkinson Lab
I am studying the evolution of the meiotic drive X chromosome in stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis dalmanni) from both a genetic and organismal perspective. First, I am working to identify genes involved in the meiotic drive pathway, which has arisen independently from other well known drive systems. Second, I am interested in understanding how the meiotic drive X chromosome affects the evolution of morphology and behavior in populations and species of stalk-eyed flies.
Valeria Petrella
PhD
CV
biology
University of Naples "Federico II"
Napoli Italy Italy
valeria.petrella@unina.it
Insects Molecular Genetics
I'm a postdoctoral researcher with a broad interest in Molecular Genetics. My main research focuses on the study of sex determining mechanisms in insects and biotech approaches to control pest insects, with particular interest on diptera (Ceratitis capitata, aedes aegypti, aedes albopictus, phlebotomus perniciosus). In 2014 I've joined the Giuseppe Saccone and Marco Salvemini group as a Post. Doc with a one-year fellowship entitled "Comparative Population Transcriptomics To Uncover Sex Determination of Aedes albopictus and Phlebotomus perniciosus, Two Emerging Haematophagous Insect Species". Then main goal of my project is the molecular charachterization and functional analysis of genes
Marcos Pereira
Full Professor
Department of Parasitology
Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Belo Horizonte Minas Gerais Brazil
marcoshp@icb.ufmg.br
Laboratory of Physiology of Hematophagous Insects
Our group is dedicated to the study of feeding behaviour and of bioactive molecules from blood-sucking insects. We use distinct and complementary approaches to investigate of the feeding process involving electrophysiology and image analysis. These evaluations are complemented by biochemical characterization of molecules present in the insect saliva and midgut that assist in the blood meal and with functional analysis (RNAi) of target genes in vivo.
Jae Park
Assoc Professor
BCMB
Univ. of Tennessee
Knoxville TN USA
jae.park99@gmail.com

Our research interests are to understand the molecular mechanisms of the programmed cell death in the nervous system using Drosophila as a model. We also have interests in elucidating biological functions of various peptidergic neurons.
Utpal Pal
Associate Professor
Veterinary Medicine
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park MD USA
upal@umd.edu

Our research interest focuses on better understanding the host-pathogen interaction involving the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the arthropod vector, Ixodes scapularis ticks. Our goals are to identify novel virulence determinants of B. burgdorferi as well as vector gene-products that play critical roles for successful persistence of the pathogen in the tick-rodent infectious cycle, and use this information to interfere with the infection.
Naomi Pierce
Hessel Professor of Biology
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge MA USA
npierce@oeb.harvard.edu
Pierce lab
Research in the Pierce lab focuses on the behavioral ecology of insect interactions, including mutualisms between social insects and other species, microbiota/ host associations, and insect/plant coevolution. We’ve used molecular characters to reconstruct the evolutionary history of a range of insects (mostly ants, bees, butterflies and moths), and comparative methods to study adaptation and life history evolution, biogeography, rates of diversification and patterns of community assembly. At a functional level, we are also exploring proximate mechanisms underlying trade-offs in a model genetic plant–pathogen–insect system, as well as the interplay of genetics and the environment in the evolution of social behavior
Steve Paterson
Professor
CV
Centre for Genomic Research
University of Liverpool
Liverpool Merseyside UK
s.paterson@liv.ac.uk
Centre for Genomic Research
Genomics and population genetics, particularly of host-parasite interactions. Bioinformatics, including RNAseq, de novo assembly and annotation. Sequenced Plodia interpunctella genome.
Yoonseong Park
Professor
Entomology
Kansas State University
Manhattan Kansas USA
ypark@ksu.edu
Arthropod Molecular Physiology Laboratory
We study molecular physiology of arthropod species to gain fundamental knowledge and to apply the knowledge to improve human life. 1. My research focuses on evolution of neuropepetides, their receptors, and functions. Model arthropods that we study are the species fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), and blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). 2. Ticks are obligatory ectoparasites that feed on the blood of vertebrate hosts and often transmit pathogens. We investigate neural and hormonal mechanisms controlling salivary secretion, involving multiple neuropeptides and catecholamines.
durga prasad
Dr
Entomology - cotton
Regional Agricultural Research Station,Lam,Guntur,Andhra Pradesh -522034,India
Guntur Andhra Pradesh India
nemanidp@yahoo.com
Cotton entomology lab
Insect Toxicology
Emilie Pondeville
Dr
Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
Glasgow Glasgow Scotland, UK
emilie.pondeville@glasgow.ac.uk

Reproduction and immunity in mosquito vectors using genetic tools
Christopher Potter
Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore MD USA
cpotter@jhmi.edu
Potter Lab
We are interested in the neural mechanisms underlying insect olfaction. We have initially focused on Drosophila melanogaster, and will extend our research into Anopheles gambiae.
Dr. ATUL KUMAR PANDEY
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Alexander Silberman Institute of life sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Jerusalem Jerusalem Israel
atulkumarpandey@gmail.com
Sociobiology Lab
Sociobiological, physiological and behavioural studies of sleep and its deprivational consequences
Wei Peng
Huazhong Agricultural University
College of Plant Science and Technology
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Hubei Key Laboratory of Insect Resource Application and Sustainable Pest Control and Institute of Urban and Horticultural Pests
Wuhan Hubei China
pengweijack@163.com
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Hubei Key Laboratory of Insect Resource Application and Sustainable Pest Control and Institute of Urban and Horticultural Pests
The molecular regulation of sex determination and female-specific lethality or embryonic conditional lethality in Bactrocera species 
Omaththage Perera
Research Entomologist
Southern Insect Management Research Unit
USDA-ARS
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Stoneville MS USA
op.perera@ars.usda.gov

Genetics, population genetics, and molecular biology of crop pests
Jason Pitts
Research Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences
Baylor University
Nashville Tennessee United States
jason_pitts@baylor.edu

I am interested in answering fundamental questions about the chemical ecology and sensory biology of disease vector insects. Chemoreception is a major driver of multiple insect behaviors, all of which are critical for survival and reproduction. The molecular basis for many peripheral chemoreception events is still poorly understood, although some insect chemoreceptor gene families, such as odorant receptors and variant ionotropic receptors, have been identified. My research is focused on many aspects of insect chemosensation including novel gene discovery, gene expression analysis, and receptor function. My long-term objective is to contribute to reductions in human disease transmission at the local
prof prem raj pushpakaran
professor
BioTechnology
NITC
calicut kerala india
drpremrajp@nitc.ac.in

immunology, bio-informatics
Ashley Peery
Entomology
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg VA United States
peerya2@vt.edu

As I pursue my PhD I am using comparative genomics to investigate evolutionary changes between species of Anopheles mosquitoes. I have created a chromosome based genome assembly for Anopheles stephensi which has allowed characterization of molecular features including genes, transposable elements, simple repeats and scaffold or matrix associated regions within the genome. I am interested in how molecular features within the genome impact the propensity for the genome to change via chromosomal inversions. The 16 genomes project has also allowed me to characterize the molecular features within the mapped genomes of mosquitoes representing ~100 MY of Anopheles evolution. This