JC (10/2015) Jenny  Carlson joined the team as a PD after graduating from UC Davis where she studied the vector competence of Culicine mosquitoes for bird malaria. Jenny has extensive field entomology expertise from her graduate work. In the Dimopoulos group she will study the mosquito microbiota and how it may cause a trans-stadial immune priming. Jenny will also characterize the larvicidal and mosquitocidal activity of Csp_P in a semi-field faciliy in Zambia.
Hannah (05/2015) Hannah MacLeod joined the team as a PhD graduate student.

Hannah earned her bachelor's degree in Biology from Northeastern University with a concentration in Marine Biology. Prior to joining JHSPH she studied hematology in Boston, marine ecology in Panama and Washington state, and immunology in San Francisco. Hannah is is studying the mosquito microbiota, and how specific bacterial isolates can be targeted for elimination and study.

Celia (05/2015) Celia Demby joined the team as a PhD graduate student. Celia graduated with a Distinction in Biochemistry from Syracuse University, where she also did research. She identified interneuron regulatory genes, characterized expression of spinal cord Ladybird Homeobox genes in Zebrafish, and investigated their role in interneuron specification. She is also a co-founder of a charity, called Project Pikin, in Sierra Leone for children orphaned by ebola.

(05/2015) Maria 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. During her PhD, Maria Luisa elucidated the role of the Plasmodium by-product hemozoin as an activator of Anopheles immunity, through mediation of the IMD pathway. She has also developed transgenic mosquito lines for Plasmodium resistance.

RS (03/2015) Raul Saraiva spent 4 weeks with collaborators in Cali Colombia studying Anopheles immunity to Plasmodium vivax infection. The lack of a method to culture this parasite species makes it impossible to perform mosquito infections in our laboratory. Colombia is endemic for P. vivax, and parasite infected blood from patients can be used to infect mosquitoes. His visit was sponsored by an Emergent Biosolutions travel fellowship.

BP (12/2014) Ben Blumberg and Andy Pike successfully defended their thesis research in December 2014, and are now a PhDs!, preparing for new breakthroughs as a postdocs. Pike's main project broadly focused on the effect of trangenesis on mosquito fitness. Ben's project focused on the mosquito microbiota and how it influences the innate immune system and anti-Plasmodium defense.

SK2 (11/2014) Seokyoung Kang was awarded a JHMRI Postdoctoral fellowship to study pathogen host factors. One of these factors is a mosquito prefoldin that act as a Plasmodium agonist. Seokyoung will study the function of this prefoldin at the mechanistic level, and investigate whether it can be used for the development of malaria transmission blocking strategies based on RNAi, small molecules and vaccines.

RS (11/2014) Raul Saraiva was awarded the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds "Stiftung fur medizinische Grundlagenforschung" pre-doctoral fellowship. Raul studies bacteria-produced metabolites that render mosquitoes resistant to Plasmodium and dengue virus. With this fellowship Raul will identify and characterize an Enterobacter-produced metabolite that modulate Plasmodium sensitivity to reactive oxygen species.

SS (11/2014) Sarah Short was awarded the NIH Ruth L Kirchenstein NRSA Postdoctoral training fellowship. The fellowship will enable Sarah to study the Aedes aegypti microbiota, and identify genes and pathways that are responsible for differences in the microbial load of diverse field mosquito populations. This project will provide insights on determinants of disease transmission since the microbiota influences pathogen infection.

SSJR (11/2014) The Dimopoulos Group study of the mosquito-associated Chromobacterium Csp_P was highlighted in the media.  The study was performed by Drs Ramirez and Short, and colleagues in the group.

Halloween (11/2014) Dimopoulos Group won the MMI department's Halloween costume competition, 2014!! Can you recognize the Draculas? Will we also win the 2015 competition? Let's see.....

PLT  (8/2014) Pike was awarded a travel fellowship to perform field research in Thailand, in collaboration with AFRIMS. He studied anti-pathogen specificity of immune pathways in the Thai vector Anopheles dirus that transmit Plasmodium vivax.

Course lecturers, from left to right:
Dr. Sarah Short (JHSPH)
Dr. George Dimopoulos (JHSPH)
Dr. Adelfa Serrano (UPR)
Dr. Roberto Barrera (CDC-PR)
UPR2 (5/2014) George and Sarah taught the first Medical Entomology Course at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, as part of the Research Centers at Minority Institutions (RCMI) program. The course generated much enthusiasm for vector research. RCMI News Letter.
Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunoogy
Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute

Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University