BS in Biology, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
BIO 1105/1106 Modern Concepts of Bioscience Lab
Mosquito-borne pathogens contribute significantly to the global burden of infectious diseases and are a continuing public health concern in the United States. Currently, our monitoring methods rely heavily on passive surveillance and clinical detection once a pathogen enters human populations. Passive surveillance efforts, however, are often limited in their effectiveness due to budget and logistical constraints, making much of the detection in developing nations rely on clinical manifestation. My research consists of adapting cutting edge passive surveillance techniques which can be affordably fielded to tackle emerging arboviral concerns, while ultimately being adaptable to other much needed entomological detection needs.
BS, MS San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
1105/1106 Modern Concepts of Bioscience Lab
BIO 1102 Introduction to Microbiology
BIO 2201 Biology of Global Health
Mosquitoes globally, are responsible for the transmission of countless diseases. Country borders and social walls do not deter from finding blood meal hosts in the form of humans, domesticated animals or otherwise. My research involves the study of sophisticated chemosensory receptors that allow mosquitoes to locate blood meal hosts as well as determine sources of plant nectar, resting sites, and suitable oviposition sites by detect important environmental chemical signals. Interfering with chemosensory reception can allow for increased vector surveillance, push-pull vector control, and human personal protection.
I am a University Scholar concentrating in biology, environmental science and studio art. I am from Overland Park, Kansas and in my free time I enjoy making pottery and riding horses. In the future, I plan on pursing a career in research of some sort, but have yet to decide exactly what I want to do.
My work in the Pitts lab revolves on intra-species pheromone detection during mating. I am currently preforming mating assays between wild caught Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus to examine possible mechanisms of satyrization.
Batool Unar Syed
I am an undergraduate researcher from Dallas, Texas majoring in Biology on the Pre-Health track with goals of attending medical school and conducting clinical research as a physician-scientist. In my free time, I like to practice photography, spend time with family and friends, and explore local places in Waco, Texas!
Globally, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are a known vector for yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus. Due to the significance of Aedes species, my research focuses specifically on female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. In our lab, I test the behavior of the female mosquitoes through various odors and an olfactometer in order to better understand their oviposition and host preference. By better understanding their behavioral choices for oviposition and host preference, future studies can be conducted to target specific sensory receptors and develop better surveillance techniques.
Shan Ju Shih
MS in Biology and Anatomy, National Defense Medical Center
BS in Biotechnology, Southern Taiwan University
Intense global trade and global climate change are contributing to the rapid spread of mosquito vector populations beyond tropical and subtropical regions of the world. With these invasive species comes the potential for emerging vector-borne diseases. Soluble chemicals indicate the suitability of potential resources to mosquitoes and therefore play critical roles in food selection and feeding behaviors. Information about the quality and quantity of “contact” chemical cues is mediated through gustatory receptors (Grs) that are expressed in specialized sensory appendages. More focused studies on the sensory neuronal basis for mosquito behaviors may contribute to improved control measures that will help reduce disease transmission by vector mosquitoes.