My group has made both pioneering and sustained contributions to the establishment of the interaction of insect sodium channels with pyrethroid insecticides as a paradigm to decipher ion channel-xenobiotic interactions in a variety of insect species, with the goal of gaining fundamental insights into the modes of action of sodium channel-targeting chemicals, interplay between sodium channels and the olfactory system, and ion channel biology.
Our ongoing studies address fundamental questions on how ion channels and receptors regulate neural activities/circuits and control important insect behaviors, and how neuroactive compounds act on these insect ion channels and receptors to alter or disrupt activities/circuits and behaviors. These studies have substantial practical implications in the global control of medically and agriculturally important insects, including mosquito species that transmit devastating human diseases, such as malaria and Dengue fever.
- Alternative splicing and RNA editing of the sodium channel gene
- Physiological function of the DSC1-family ion channels
- Knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids
- Molecular bases of pyrethrum and pyrethroid repellency
Experimental models: Aedes aegypti, a major vector for yellow fever, dengue and Zika viruses, and Drosophila melanogaster, a model insect.
Experimental approaches: molecular genetic, neurophysiological, neurotoxicological, neuropharmacological and behavioral analyses.