Our laboratory at Penn State University focuses on:
Dengue virus transmission by mosquitoes
We study the role of mosquito and dengue virus genetic diversity in determining virus infection and transmission in the mosquito. There is growing evidence that the lock and key fit of mosquito and virus genotypes affect the landscape of circulating viruses in the field and hence patterns of human disease. We are also interested in how field relevant environmental factors affect transmissibility.
We are interested in how this naturally occurring bacterial endosymbiont affects insect host immunity and physiology. More specifically, in the mosquito vector of dengue virus we are elucidating how the symbiont prevents pathogens from replicating– the trait that is the cornerstone of an international effort to develop Wolbachia-based biocontrol against dengue.