Leishmania - sand fly interactions; functional genomics of insect vectors of medically important diseases; sand fly genome sequencing project; digestive physiology of bloodsucking insects; insect microbiology; microbial symbiosis; microbial ecology; insects and emerging infectious disease; natural antimicrobial systems and insects. Public engagement activities includes working with DIYBio maker communities, Bioscience research and art.
Current projects in my laboratory include:
A Drosophila-Herpetomonas model as a blueprint to study Leishmania infection in phlebotomine sand flies. BBSRC funded collaboration with Dr Petros Ligoxygakis University of Oxford.
Special Visiting Researcher; Brazil, Science without Borders Programme. Three year collaboration with Prof Fernando Genta IOC/Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro. Funded by Brazilian agency CNPq.
Lutzomyia longipalpis genome sequencing and annotation. Ongoing collaborative project including partners at Vectorbase and the University of Notre Dame, USA.
I have a number of Brazil government CNPq funded postdoctoral fellowships for visiting Brazilian scientists including: Behaviour and thermal preference in sand flies, Dr Kel Aguair Martins CNPq funded; Sand fly bloodmeal feeding and analysis Dr Caroline Moraes; Leishmania gene knock out studies and effect on sandfly infection, Dr Raquel Vionette do Amaral.
Leading a research group studying the role of Phlebotomine sand flies as transmitters of the medically important parasite Leishmania. Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease found in 88 countries worldwide with over 12 million cases and 2 million new cases every year. We are using DNA technologies including gene silencing to research the interactions between the Leishmania parasite and its blood sucking sand fly host. Research spans all aspects from lab to field work.