In the Catteruccia laboratory, we are motivated by our conviction that no one should suffer from malaria and other vector-borne diseases. We conduct rigorous science to advance this common goal while fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity, collaboration, and inclusivity.
Malaria, a leading cause of death in tropical and subtropical regions, is transmitted by the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes. In Africa, where 90% of deaths occur, the major malaria vector is the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Females of this and related species have a high reproductive capacity that is ensured by a single mating event followed by multiple blood feeding cycles.
In our research group we study the molecular and behavioral parameters that are key to the ability of Anopheles mosquitoes to transmit malaria, with special emphasis on reproductive biology and vector-Plasmodium interactions. Our aim is to provide crucial knowledge to aid the development of new, effective tools for mosquito and malaria control. A key component of our research includes fieldwork studies in Africa on mating biology and natural malaria infections. These studies, in collaboration with IRSS in Burkina Faso, ICIPE in Kenya and other partners, are expanding our understanding of mosquito reproductive biology, mosquito-microbiota interactions, and natural malaria infections.
Currently our scientific program covers a number of research areas:
Reproductive biology; genetic and evolutionary approaches to study reproductive traits important for vectorial capacity.
Mosquito pathways that facilitate Plasmodium development.
From the bench to the field: generation of tools to reduce the malaria burden.