I did my PhD from 2000 to 2003 in Cameroon with the French research Institute IRD, working on the population genetics of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae complex in Cameroon. I later moved in 2004 to the vector group of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as a postdoctoral research associate to study the genetics and molecular basis of insecticide resistance in Anopheles funestus. Since 2008 I am a Wellcome Trust Research career development fellow.
I am the convenor of the Master module TROP741 (Vector population biology and Control) and I sit on the board of studies and the exam board of the joint master programme. I participate in the teaching of the BSc programme in Tropical Biology (University of Liverpool), the joint Masters programmes in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors/Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors and the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTMH) at LSTM.
My main research interest is the understanding of the biology, genetics and genomics of mosquitoes vectors tropical diseases such as Malaria, Lymphatic Filariasis and Dengue. I primarily work on Anopheles funestus, one of the major malaria vectors in Africa which, because of the difficulty of rearing it in laboratory, is less studied than Anopheles gambiae. I am currently studying the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in field populations of An. funestus using a genetic mapping approach (Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping), functional genomics (microarray, RNAseq) and functional analyses (GAL4/UAS transgenic expression of mosquito genes in Drosophila, the heterologous expression of candidate genes in E. coli to confirm their ability to confer resistance and RNAi. My aim is to use this knowledge to develop simple molecular assays to detect resistance in field populations. This will greatly facilitate the management of insecticide resistance in Africa. I am also developing new genomic tools for this species using Next-generation sequencing.
I also have a more general interest in insect genetics and genomics including population genetics studies in mosquito species; investigation of insecticide resistance mechanisms in other malaria vectors (An. arabiensis and An. gambiae) and in the dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae albopictus and the Lymphatic filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus.
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Dr Jacob Riveron since 2011, working on the functional genomics notably the confirmation of the role of detoxification genes in conferring resistance using GAL4/UAS transgenic expression system and heterologous
PhD students currently registered at LSTM
- Ibrahim Sulaiman 2nd year PhD, Topic: Functional characterisation of detoxification genes in Anopheles funestus
- Miranda Ndula 3rd year of PhD, Topic: Population genetics of insecticide resistance in An. funestus
- Intan Haslina Ishak, 3rd year of PhD, Topic: Insecticide resistance profiles of the Dengue vectors Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus in Malaysia
- Kayla Barnes 2nd Year of PhD, Topic: Characterisation of the insecticide resistance front in Southern African populations of Anopheles funestus
Overseas PhD student
- Badara Samb, MCDC student, 3rd year PhD Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal,
- Benjamin Menze, OCEAC, Cameroon/LSTM
Past Master students
- Charles Mulamba, Master awarded in 2012
- Ghouma Salha, Master awarded in 2011, LSTM
- Siyu Chai, Master awarded in 2012, LSTM
- Naomi Platt, Master awarded 2010, LSTM
- Rachel Kwiatkowska, Master awarded 2010, LSTM
- Deusdedit Tusubira, Master awarded 2005, LSTM
Past PhD students
- Angela Harris: PhD awarded 2011, co-supervised with Prof Hilary Ranson
- Claudia Witzig, PhD awarded 2012, co-supervised with Prof Hilary Ranson
Two years Molecular entomology TDR/WHO grant, co-P.I with Hilary Ranson and John Vontas 2004 – 2006, “A functional genomics approach to improve insecticide resistance detection in Anopheles gambiae”. £50000
Two years Re-entry grant TDR/WHO 2004 - 2006, P.I. “Molecular and bio-ecological basis of the speciation between M and S molecular forms of An. gambiae: Impact on malaria transmission and insecticide resistance”. £25000
Two year TDR/WHO grant «Research Training Grant» (2001-2003), “Impact of impregnated bed nets on genetic structure of malaria vectors in an area of irrigated rice-fields in North-Cameroon”. £7500