- BS. Hons., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Australian National University, 1992
- Ph.D., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Australian National University, 1996
Genetic transformation systems have been developed for an increasing number of non-drosophilid insects. The ability to genetically transform an insect species enables the use of a vast array of techniques to result in the identification and characterization of novel genes, promoters and enhancer sequences. This will greatly enhance the understanding of the basic biology of a given species.
Transformation systems also allow the genetic manipulation and modification of pest and vector species. This will result in the development and improvement of marked genetic sexing strains for use in Sterile Insect Release programs. It is also possible to develop strains of vector species that can no longer transmit a particular virus or parasite, thus providing an alternative method of control. Research in our lab is aimed at improving the genetic transformation system for the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Specific projects involve the use of enhancer elements to increase transgene expression levels and the use of boundary elements to insulate the transgenes from position effects. Efforts are ongoing to develop transformation systems for other important insect species. These studies involve the testing of transposable element activity, as well as efforts to develop site-specific integration systems.
Current Genetics Students: