Geoff Attardo PhD

Research Scientist in Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

Research Interests

Insect vectors; Reproduction; Genetics; Biochemistry; Tsetse fly; Nutrition; Viviparity; Trypanosomiasis; Africa

Research Summary

My research focuses upon the reproductive biology of insect vectors of human disease. My Ph.D. thesis in the lab of Dr. Alex Raikhel, is focused upon the effects of nutritional components of blood (amino acids) upon the transcriptional regulation of yolk protein genes in the Yellow Fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). My current work in the Aksoy lab involves the molecular characterization of reproductive processes of the viviparous Tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans). This work targets multiple aspects of reproduction in tsetse including nutrient metabolism and mobilization to the intrauterine offspring; identification and characterization of reproductive genes and regulatory mechanisms; and the role of the obligatory symbiotic bacteria wigglesworthia in tsetse fertility.

Selected Publications

  • International Glossina Genome Initiative. Genome sequence of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans): vector of African trypanosomiasis. Science. 2014;344(6182):380-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1249656. PubMed PMID: 24763584; PMCID: 4077534.
  • Attardo GM, Benoit JB, Michalkova V, Patrick KR, Krause TB, Aksoy S. The homeodomain protein ladybird late regulates synthesis of milk proteins during pregnancy in the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans). PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2014;8(4):e2645. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002645. PubMed PMID: 24763082; PMCID: 3998940.
  • Benoit JB, Attardo GM, Baumann AA, Michalkova V, Aksoy S. Adenotrophic viviparity in tsetse flies: potential for population control and as an insect model for lactation. Annual review of entomology. 2015;60:351-71. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-010814-020834. PubMed PMID: 25341093.
  • Benoit JB, Attardo GM, Michalkova V, Krause TB, Bohova J, Zhang Q, Baumann AA, Mireji PO, Takac P, Denlinger DL, Ribeiro JM, Aksoy S. A novel highly divergent protein family identified from a viviparous insect by RNA-seq analysis: a potential target for tsetse fly-specific abortifacients. PLoS genetics. 2014;10(4):e1003874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003874. PubMed PMID: 24763277; PMCID: 3998918.
  • Attardo GM, Hansen IA, Raikhel AS. Nutritional regulation of vitellogenesis in mosquitoes: implications for anautogeny. Insect biochemistry and molecular biology. 2005;35(7):661-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2005.02.013. PubMed PMID: 15894184.
  • Hansen IA, Attardo GM, Park JH, Peng Q, Raikhel AS. Target of rapamycin-mediated amino acid signaling in mosquito anautogeny. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2004;101(29):10626-31. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0403460101. PubMed PMID: 15229322; PMCID: 489984.

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