My research is focused on studying the role of immunity against arthropod salivary proteins on disease severity and transmission. Our previous research has shown that human antibodies elicited against Aedes, Culex and Anopheles salivary proteins can be used as epidemiological tools for the surveillance of arthropod-vector contact as well as a measure of risk for mosquito-borne disease transmission.
Another part of my research is to characterize the impact of human immune factor activation in mosquito midgut. Specifically, we are studying the role of the human complement proteins C5a and C3a in arbovirus transmission from the human to the mosquito. Our recent work has demonstrated that activation of human complement in mosquito midgut decreases DENV and ZIKV infection and induces gene expression of immune related genes in Ae. aegypti.
Berlin Londono, Ph.D., MS.c.
Postdoc. Lidia Montenegro
I got my bachelor’s degree in Colombia in 2009 “Universidad del Valle - Cali” in the same city, I worked for almost five year in a research institution called CIDEIM (Centro Internacional de entrenamiento e Ivestigaciones medicas) with Malaria´s parasites, especially with antimalarial drug response of P. falciparum isolates with vitro and molecular technologies. Then, I got my Ph.D. in biomedical science, focused in Microbiology and Parasitology “Universidad de Antioquia” (Medellin-Colombia), in 2017. During my doctoral program I made a short training in sequencing and in vitro susceptibility assays at LMVR-NIH (Rockville, Md - USA). I have been working mostly with Malaria Parasites surveillance it is response to different treatments, improving diagnosis test and training field diagnose workers in the accurate malaria diagnose and treatment. Always with the best aptitude to learn and explore in new research topics, looking for understanding more details about important infectious disease agents.
Ms. Student. Brittany L. Blattner
Originally from Rozel, Kansas, Brittany Blattner is a long-time resident of Manhattan. She obtained her bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish from Kansas State before working as an English teacher in South Korea for four years. She returned to K-State in 2010 to pursue a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. She has completed three years in the DVM program and one in a Master of Public Health program, with an emphasis in infectious and zoonotic disease.
Brittany has enjoyed working in research throughout her time at K-State. As an undergraduate, she assisted in a study of social behavior in rats toward biologically-significant and -insignificant food predictors, which she presented for her honors thesis. In vet school, Brittany completed and presented a study in which she mapped the genome of two new strains of the human norovirus, in the Veterinary Research Scholars Program. She is currently working under Dr. Londono in the entomology lab, examining the presence of tick and mosquito antibodies within the local population. She is excited to be a part of this study, which she hopes will provide insight into the prevalence of certain disease vectors in Kansas.
Ph.D. Visiting Student.
Jehidys Montiel Ramos
Phd. Student. Paula Rozo Lopez
I am an entomologist with a M.Sc. in evolutionary biology. I have an extensive field and laboratory research background in Diptera and Culicidae taxonomy, molecular and bioinformatic methods for species identification, mosquito breeding, and vector biology sampling and surveillance protocols. I am currently working on my Ph.D. research, which explores some biological interactions and transmission routes between Clulicoides midges and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). I am interested in better understand the dynamics of vector-borne pathogen transmission as well the multiple biological aspects of vector-pathogen interactions.
Field Research Scientist
Jenny Carolina Cardenas, MSc.
I am clinical microbiologist specialized in chronic as well as infectious disease diagnosis. I have extensive experience in human sample field collection and testing. I am currently directing field human sample collection in dengue and malaria endemic areas in Colombia.
Ph.D. Student. Sapna Menghwar
I am PhD scholar under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Berlin Londoño and GRA at Kansas State University. My doctoral research work includes the study of human-vector interactions involving pathogens transmitted by mosquito species Aedes and Anopheles. Prior to this, I have experience in biocontrol (Trichogramma chilonis), IPM control strategies in mango orchards and insect systematics (Taxonomy of leafhoppers). I described a new specie of Aconurella erebus from Pakistan. I have both of my degrees (Undergrads and Masters) in Entomology from Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam Pakistan."