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Malaria Serology

I conducted post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Plowe in the Division of Malaria Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Institute for Global Health. The laboratory studies multiple facets of malaria transmission and immunity, and has field sites in Myanmar, Malawi, Mali, and other malaria endemic countries. I  helped with various aspects of the group's research, including leading the entomological efforts in Myanmar and Malawi, but much of my research centered on the serological response of the human adaptive immune system to Plasmodium infection. There is more information here.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

To pursue my PhD, I moved to Dr. George Dimopoulos' laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Dimopouos' group works on various aspects of mosquito biology as related to vector-borne disease control. Some members of his lab study the tripartite interactions between mosquitoes, human pathogens, and endosymbiotic bacteria, while others work on applications of the insect innate immune system for disease control. I was in the latter group, and my thesis work focused on the physiological changes and fitness effects brought about by genetic modification of mosquitoes to make them resistant to Plasmodium falciparum infection. You can learn more here.

Dengue Virus and Wolbachia

During my years as a Master's student at Michigan State University, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Zhiyong Xi on the three-way interactions between the dengue virus, the bacterium Wolbachia and their mutual host Aedes aegypti. This was my first intense biology research, and has formed the basis of my future vector-borne disease work. I measured the effects of Wolbachia infection on various aspects of mosquito fitness and changes in the ability of dengue virus to infect mosquitoes in the presence or absence of the bacteria. Click here to continue reading.

Math Art

My first research experiences occurred while I was an undergraduate student at Oberlin College. I got my start working with mosquitoes while performing independent research on the possibility that Culiseta melanura mosquitoes acted as a reservoir to maintain West Nile virus over the winter. However, the majority of my research was in the mathematics department. There, I worked with Bob Bosch on the application of math to creating visual art. For more information, read on here.