The Dimopoulos Group is an international team of scientists, that study mosquitos which transmit human pathogens such as malaria parasites and dengue virus, as part to their postdoctoral training, or PhD and master degree thesis research. Mosquito transmitted diseases such as malaria and dengue represent one of the world’s most serious public health problems. The current control strategies for these diseases, based on drugs (for malaria) and mosquito killing or avoidance, are insufficient to limit their spread and final elimination. Vaccines don’t exist for malaria or Dengue.

Our research program is broadly focused on the biology of mosquito vector competence for malaria and dengue. Our long-term goal is to develop novel disease intervention strategies based on blocking the pathogens in the mosquito. The overarching theme is the reciprocal molecular interactions between the pathogens, the mosquito’s innate immune system and microbiota. The mosquito has evolved into a powerful biological model for the study of host-pathogen interactions, and how these are affected by the immune system and microbiota. These research areas comprise several synergistically interacting projects, which combine molecular biology, biochemical, and functional genomic and genetic analyses of mosquitoes and microbes with parasite and viral infection models. While our main focus is on the basic biology of these systems, our projects also address translational aspects related to their application in innovative disease control. Read more about the Dimopoulos Group here.

JC2Jenny Carlson joined the group as a PD in October after graduating from UC Davis where she studied Culicine mosquito vector competence for bird malaria.
JA2Ja joined the group in September as a visiting fellow from Chiangmai University. She is working on a collaborative project that focuses on the mosquito microbiota, and how it can influence vector competence. 09/2015
Ligia and GabrielaLigia CL de Souza and Gabriela Bassi Maia from Brazil will spend the summer as trainees in the lab  learning various molecular and infectious disease research methods. 06/2015
ML2Maria Luisa Simoes joined the team as a PD  after graduating from the Inst. of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Lisbon. She also trained at Imperial College London. 05/2015
Hannah and CeliaHannah MacLeod (left) and Celia Demby joined the team as PhD graduate students. 05/2015
RSRaul Saraiva spent 4 weeks with collaborators in Cali Colombia studying Anopheles immunity to Plasmodium vivax infection. His visit was sponsored by an Emergent Biosolutions travel fellowship. 03/2015
Nahid Borhani Dizaji NAHIDjoined the group for postdoctoral training. She studies the fitness gain of GM mosquitoes. 02/2015
Ben Blumberg and Andy Pike successfully defended their thesis work in December 2014, and are now a PhDs!, preparing for new breakthroughs as a postdocs. 12/2014
Seokyoung Kang was SK2awarded the JHMRI Postdoctoral fellowship. 12/2014
RSRaul Saraiva was awarded the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds pre-doctoral fellowship. 11/2014
SSSarah Short was awarded the NIH Ruth  L Kirchenstein NRSA Postdoctoral fellowship. 11/2014
The Dimopoulos Group study of the mosquito associated Chromobacterium Csp_P was highlighted in the media, 10/2014
Dimopoulos Group won the MMI department Halloween costume competition, 2014
 Recent Publications
SSANDISimone Sandiford and colleagues showed for the first time that cytoplasmic actin is an extracellular insect immune factor which is secreted upon immune challenge and mediates phagocytosis and direct killing of bacteria, and is a Plasmodium antagonist. PLoS Pathogens 2015.
ndnNathan Dennison characterized microRNA-regulation of Anopheles gambiae immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection and midgut microbiota. Dev Comp. Immunol. 2014.
Jose Ramirez
, Sarah Short and colleagues show that Chromobacterium Csp_P reduces malaria and dengue infection in vector mosquitoes and has entomopathogenic and in vitro anti-pathogen activities. PLoS Pathogens 2014.
Pike2Andy Pike and colleagues characterized the Anopheles stephensi IMD pathway-regulated transcriptome and proteome, and identified novel anti-Plasmodium factors. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2014.
skaSeokyoung Kang, and  colleagues, for the first time suppressed dengue-2 infection by chemical inhibition of Aedes aegypti host factors. PLoS NTD 2014.
Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunoogy
Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute

Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University