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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Faculty Receives $3.8 Million NIAID Grant to Study RNAi Pathway in Mosquitoes

Dr. George Dimopoulos, professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s department of molecular microbiology and immunology and a deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute was recently awarded a five-year, $3.8 million grant from NIAID (NIH’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases). The Malaria Research Institute is based at the Bloomberg School.

Aedes mosquitoes are the primary vectors of the arboviral human pathogens, and the RNA interference pathway is a major pan-antiviral defense system. The grant will support research to dissect the function of the RNA Interference (RNAi) pathway in antiviral defense and assess its suitability for the development of disease control strategies using transgenic mosquitoes. The grant is supporting collaborative research with Dr. Kevin Myles’ group at the Texas A&M University department of entomology.

Dr. Dimopoulos’ research focuses on mosquito vector biology. He has pioneered discoveries in mosquito-pathogen interactions, innate immunity and microbiota. Dr. Myles’ research focuses on how mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika affect insect carriers and how this information can be used to decrease the impact on humans.