Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Aksoy, Serap
Location Yale University
Primary Field Animal, Nutritional and Applied Microbial Sciences
 Research Interests
Aksoy's research is on African trypanosomiasis, which is a neglected zoonotic fatal disease of humans and livestock in Africa, caused by parasitic African trypanosomes that are transmitted to mammals through the bite of an infected tsetse fly. She is known for her interdisciplinary approaches to understanding critical determinants of disease transmission?ranging from research on tsetse and trypanosome biology; to population genetics of tsetse, symbionts, and trypanosomes; to disease epidemiology in Africa. Her studies have enabled the integration of leading-edge molecular and genomic techniques into tsetse research. She established the International Glossina Genome Initiative in 2004 that advanced molecular research in tsetse and ultimately led to whole-genome sequencing of six different tsetse species. She has made seminal contributions to the functional and evolutionary aspects of multipartite tsetse interactions with pathogenic trypanosomes and beneficial microbiota. Her classic molecular and biological studies provided information on tsetse physiology and tsetse's obligate symbiosis with microbes, and collectively identified multiple molecular targets to reduce tsetse populations. Her population genetics studies on tsetse and trypanosomes have elucidated vector dynamics and disease transmission epidemiology, and together provided the information needed for sustainable vector control strategies for disease elimination. She has pioneered an innovative control strategy that uses beneficial insect symbionts to render insects inhospitable for disease-causing pathogens, thereby reducing their disease transmission potential. Aksoy collaborates extensively with East African scientists to build regional research and control capacity for tsetse-transmitted diseases.

 
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