Geoffrey Michael 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

  • A novel highly divergent protein family identified from a viviparous insect by RNA-seq analysis: a potential target for tsetse fly-specific abortifacients. Benoit JB, Attardo GM, Michalkova V, Krause TB, Bohova J, Zhang Q, Baumann AA, Mireji PO, Takác P, Denlinger DL, Ribeiro JM, Aksoy S. PLoS Genet. 2014 Apr 24;10(4):e1003874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003874. eCollection 2014 Apr.
  • Vitamin B6 generated by obligate symbionts is critical for maintaining proline homeostasis and fecundity in tsetse flies. Michalkova V, Benoit JB, Weiss BL, Attardo GM, Aksoy S. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Sep;80(18):5844-53. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01150-14. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

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