Mission: To identify vector- and rodent-borne disease threats
of military and global health importance and to develop and evaluate
interventions and products in order to mitigate those threats.
Biology, Surveillance, and Control Research: Develops and evaluates mosquito surveillance traps. Evaluates
control or preventive measures including insecticide barrier treatments,
insecticide-impregnated bed nets and tents, and personal-use and spatial
repellents. Studies are aimed at understanding basic vector biology and
behavior through vector competence and oviposition assays. Taxonomic keys are
continually developed and updated for the mosquitoes of
|Malaria Research: Conducts research on malaria biology and transmission. On-going
research includes studies on malaria parasite development in liver cells and
mosquitoes and the establishment of an in
vitro system to screen antimalarial compounds and vaccines against
exoerythrocytic, gametocytic and sporogonic stages of malaria parasites.
Studies are also focused on gametocytogenesis in Plasmodium falciparum and P.
vivax and the production of different stages of human and animal
malaria parasites in order to support drug and vaccine development and
transmission blocking strategies.
Zoonotic Disease Research: A one-of-a-kind Orientia tsutsugamushi -infected Leptotrombidium mite colony and a chigger challenge mouse model
form the basis for studies on vector-pathogen interactions, scrub typhus
transmission and immunology and evaluations of candidate scrub typhus vaccines.
Research is also focused on designing more effective surveillance techniques for
scrub typhus vectors. Our team of veterinarians and field mammalogists conduct
epidemiological and ecological studies that are aimed at better understanding
the distribution and variation of vectors and their related pathogens in animal
|Vector-borne and Zoonotic Disease Diagnostics
Program: Develops and evaluates rapid
field assays for the detection of relevant pathogens. Conducts cutting edge bioinformatics and molecular research on
arthropod-borne disease vectors and pathogens. Pathogens include, but are
not limited to, dengue and chikungunya viruses, malaria parasites, and Orientia
|GIS and Spatial-temporal Analysis of Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases: Applies Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) -based tools to evaluate the risk of vector-borne
disease outbreaks. This capability
incorporates environmental factors and field collection data (i.e.
vector/pathogen distributions) in order to delineate vector-borne disease (i.e.
dengue, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, malaria) risk areas.
|Personnel/Facilities: The Department of Entomology consists of approximately 50 full time employees to
include 8 PhD scientists, and more than one dozen M.S. -level researchers.
A state-of-the-art Insectary supports the production of at least 6 different mosquito species for Plasmodium and
arboviral transmission studies, behavioral studies, and dengue vaccine studies. Additionally, the department maintains seven species of Leptotrombidium mites.
While the department conducts its research throughout
and other parts of Asia (
), it maintains two field sites: one in Mae Sot
(along the Thai-Myanmar border)
and one in Kamphaeng Phet
(located approximately 4 hrs north of
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