Postdoctornal position (mosquito)

Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena mxj3 at PO.CWRU.EDU
Thu Apr 3 18:03:53 EST 1997


POSTDOCTORAL POSITION OPEN (Mosquito Molecular Genetics)=20

A postdoctoral position is open in my laboratory to study gene=20
expression in the mosquito gut. The mosquito is essential for malaria=20
transmission. When the mosquito ingests an infected blood meal, the=20
gut is the first site of interaction between the insect host and the=20
parasite.=20

One of our objectives is to characterize gut-specific promoters. These=20
may be used to express anti-parasite molecules in the gut of=20
genetically modified mosquitoes. Most gut-specific genes characterized=20
so far are induced relatively late (~24 h) after ingestion of a blood=20
meal, at a time when the parasites are separated from the secretory=20
epithelium by a thick peritrophic matrix. However, we have recently=20
identified a gene that is activated strongly (~10-fold) and early (<=20
30 min) after blood ingestion (Edwards et al., manuscript in=20
preparation). We are functionally characterizing the corresponding=20
promoter by two assays: 1) Transformation into Drosophila (see Xiong=20
and Jacobs-Lorena, PNAS 92, 9313-9317, 1995) and 2) infection of=20
Anopheles gut epithelial cells using a retroviral vector (in=20
collaboration with the Burns lab, UCSD). In a separate line of=20
research, we are using subtractive libraries to identify gut-specific=20
genes and genes induced specifically by ingestion of a blood meal. One=20
aim is to identify genes encoding components of the peritrophic matrix=20
(a potential barrier for Plasmodium development); another aim is to=20
identify =B3early=B2 regulatory genes (transcription factors?) that are=20
required for the activation of the =B3late=B2 digestive enzyme genes.=20

Malaria kills about 2 million people per year. The situation is=20
actually worsening because of increased drug and insecticide=20
resistance, and for lack of an effective vaccine. Studying=20
insect-parasite interactions may lead to novel approaches to disease=20
control. In addition to the high medical relevance of this research=20
area, it is worth pointing out that this rapidly expanding research=20
field has recently been receiving increased attention and financial=20
support form the NIH and other funding agencies.

Please contact me or pass this information to interested persons.

Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena
Case Western Reserve University=20
School of Medicine
Department of Genetics
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4955

Tel: (216) 368-2791
FAX: (216) 368-3432
Internet mxj3 at po.cwru.edu



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