Megan is incredibly fortunate to be a co-PI on a two year research grant funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Peter Armbruster at Georgetown University is the lead investigator (click here for a link to his website). The project will allow us to select for biting and non-biting populations of the Northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. The Armbruster lab will similarly select for biting and non-biting populations of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti (shown below).
Then, with the help of Dr. Christine Hozapfel and Bill Bradshaw at the University of Oregon (click here for a link to their website), we will compare the differences in gene expression between the biting and non-biting mosquitoes belonging to these two species. By doing this, we hope to identify genes that are important for biting so that we could one day prevent mosquitoes from biting us and transmitting disease.