Our strengths include the molecular basis of mosquito reproduction, insect molecular virology and pathology, insect molecular toxicology, and molecular systematics and evolution.
Faculty and Staff
1. Molecular biology and pharmacology of insect sodium channels
Contact: Ke Dong
Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for action potential initiation and propagation in the nervous system and other excitable cells.
2. DNA fingerprinting for identification and genetic characterization of apple maggot and blueberry maggot
Web site: DNA Fingerprinting technology for identification and genetic characterization of apple maggot and blueberry maggot
Contact: James Smith
Use of amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to determine relationships of populations and closely related species in the genus Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae).
3. Molecular biology of baculoviruses and their use in biotechnology
Contact: Suzanne Thiem
Research in the Thiem laboratory focuses on understanding the interactions of baculoviruses with their host insects. Areas of interest include the molecular basis of baculovirus host-range determination and insects’ immune responses to baculovirus invections.
The primary goal of our biotechnology research is improving the baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) for expression of membrane proteins. Because membrane proteins are key targets for both drugs and insecticides, obtaining sufficient quantities of these proteins for structural studies is essential for the designing new pharmaceuticals and insecticides. For this project we are developing new insect cell lines and expression vectors.