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Past Lab Members

Serap Aksoy

Serap Aksoy

Professor - Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases
Phone: (203) 737-2180
Fax: (203) 785-4782
Email: serap.aksoy@yale.edu
Faculty Page


My research aims to understand the biology of host-pathogen interactions; in particular in tsetse flies, which transmit African trypanosomes and harbor multiple symbiotic microbes. Basic studies focus on the immune aspects of trypanosome transmission in tsetse, while the applied studies aim to harness this information to develop biologically sound and novel disease control strategies to interrupt parasite development in the tsetse vector.
A second area of research focuses on the molecular and evolutionary basis of symbiosis. The biology of each tsetse symbiont is characterized using biochemical, genomic, genetic, cellular and molecular techniques to understand their functional significance in the context of host ecology.


  • Ph.D. : Columbia University, 1982

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • Ambross Monell Foundation, 2006
  • Robert Leet and Clara Gutherie Patterson Trust Award, 2000
  • Culpeper Foundation Biomedical Initiative Award, 1998
  • Columbia University Graduate Scholar Award, 1978-1982
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research, 1977

Professional Services

  • Director, International Glossina Genome Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO)/ The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR)
  • Chair, Innovative Vector Control Program, WHO/TDR
  • Editor-in-Chief, PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Editorial Board, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Member, NIH Study Section Vector Biology, 2008-2012

Curriculum vitae

Click here to download

In the News

Sequencing genome of bacteria that lives off fly may lead to new clues about disease

Genetic Clues to Sodalis Deepens Knowledge of Bacterial Diseases


Aksoy S (2011) Sleeping Sickness Elimination in Sight: Time to Celebrate and Reflect, but Not Relax. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(2): e1008. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001008

Aksoy S (2010) Solutions to Neglected Tropical Diseases Require Vibrant Local Scientific Communities. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4(3): e662. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000662

Franco-Paredes C, Ko AI, Aksoy S, Hotez PJ (2010) A New Clinical Section in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4(9): e760. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000760

LaBeaud AD, Aksoy S (2010) Neglected Funding for Vector-Borne Diseases: A Near Miss This Time, a Possible Disaster the Next Time. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4(10): e847. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000847

Hotez PJ, Aksoy S (2009) PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Two Years of Providing Access to Innovation for the World's Poor … and Counting. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(7): e494. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000494


Alam U, Hyseni C, Symula RE, Brelsfoard C, Wu Y, Kruglov O, Wang J, Echodu R, Alioni V, Okedi LM, Caccone A, Aksoy S. Microfauna-host interactions: implications for trypanosome transmission dynamics in Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Uganda. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22544247.

Doudoumis V, Tsiamis G, Wamwiri F, Brelsfoard C, Alam U, Aksoy E, Dalaperas S, Abd-Alla A, Ouma J, Takac P, Aksoy S, Bourtzis K. Detection and characterization of Wolbachia infections in laboratory and natural populations of different species of tsetse flies (genus Glossina). BMC Microbiol. 2012 Jan 18;12 Suppl 1:S3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22376025; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3287514.

Attardo GM, Benoit JB, Michalkova V, Yang G, Roller L, Bohova J, Takáč P, Aksoy S. Analysis of lipolysis underlying lactation in the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2012 May;42(5):360-70. PubMed PMID: 22509523.

Weiss BL, Maltz M, Aksoy S. Obligate symbionts activate immune system development in the tsetse fly. J Immunol. 2012 Apr 1;188(7):3395-403. Epub 2012 Feb 24. PubMed PMID: 22368278; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3311772.

Rio RV, Symula RE, Wang J, Lohs C, Wu YN, Snyder AK, Bjornson RD, Oshima K, Biehl BS, Perna NT, Hattori M, Aksoy S. Insight into the transmission biology and species-specific functional capabilities of tsetse (Diptera: glossinidae) obligate symbiont wigglesworthia. MBio. 2012 Feb 14;3(1). pii: e00240-11. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00240-11. Print 2012. PubMed PMID: 22334516; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3280448.

Benoit JB, Yang G, Krause TB, Patrick KR, Aksoy S, Attardo GM. Lipophorin acts as a shuttle of lipids to the milk gland during tsetse fly pregnancy. J Insect Physiol. 2011 Nov;57(11):1553-61. Epub 2011 Aug 22. PubMed PMID: 21875592; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3209505.

Ouma JO, Beadell JS, Hyseni C, Okedi LM, Krafsur ES, Aksoy S, Caccone A. Genetic diversity and population structure of Glossina pallidipes in Uganda and western Kenya. Parasit Vectors. 2011 Jun 28;4:122. PubMed PMID: 21711519; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3146932.

Bonomi A, Bassetti F, Gabrieli P, Beadell J, Falchetto M, Scolari F, Gomulski LM, Regazzini E, Ouma JO, Caccone A, Okedi LM, Attardo GM, Guglielmino CR, Aksoy S, Malacrida AR. Polyandry is a common event in wild populations of the Tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes and may impact population reduction measures. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Jun;5(6):e1190. Epub 2011 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 21666797; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3110164.

Kariithi HM, Ince IA, Boeren S, Abd-Alla AM, Parker AG, Aksoy S, Vlak JM, Oers MM. The salivary secretome of the tsetse fly Glossina pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae) infected by salivary gland hypertrophy virus. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Nov;5(11):e1371. Epub 2011 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 22132244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3222630.

Alam U, Medlock J, Brelsfoard C, Pais R, Lohs C, Balmand S, Carnogursky J, Heddi A, Takac P, Galvani A, Aksoy S. Wolbachia symbiont infections induce strong cytoplasmic incompatibility in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002415. Epub 2011 Dec 8. PubMed PMID: 22174680; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3234226.

Symula RE, Marpuri I, Bjornson RD, Okedi L, Beadell J, Alam U, Aksoy S, Caccone A. Influence of host phylogeographic patterns and incomplete lineage sorting on within-species genetic variability in Wigglesworthia species, obligate symbionts of tsetse flies. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Dec;77(23):8400-8. Epub 2011 Sep 23. PubMed PMID: 21948847; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3233068.

Weiss B, Aksoy S. Microbiome influences on insect host vector competence. Trends Parasitol. 2011 Nov;27(11):514-22. Epub 2011 Jun 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 21697014; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3179784.

Weiss BL, Wang J, Aksoy S. Tsetse immune system maturation requires the presence of obligate symbionts in larvae. PLoS Biol. 2011 May;9(5):e1000619. Epub 2011 May 31. PubMed PMID: 21655301; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3104962.

For a further list of Dr. Aksoy’s publications, please see PubMed

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