Jonathan Cheah

Biological Sciences

Diana Le

Biological Sciences

Jonathan Cheah became interested in undergraduate research after hearing positive experiences from older students addition to his research activities, Jonathan is a LARC tutor, a private tutor, and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He enjoys playing sports in his leisure time and is particularly fond of his latest new hobby, surfing at nearby beaches.

Not too long ago, Diana Le changed her major from Mathematics to Biological Sciences because she decided that she wanted to become a pharmacist.  However, she says that her research in Dr. Biessmannís lab is causing her to reconsider her plan again. She may decide instead to pursue graduate study in Biology so she can continue to observe the molecular effects expressed in the morphology or physiology of an organism. Diana is grateful that her research contributes to eradicating the problems of mosquito-borne diseases.
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To better understand the olfactory process of the Anopheles gambiae, we investigated the differences of gene expression in the antennae of female and male mosquitoes. While both females and males feed on nectar as their main source of food, only the females blood feed in order to reproduce. Differences in expression of olfaction-related proteins between males and females were analyzed by a custom microarray to identify genes that are essential factors contributing to female blood-feeding behavior. Analysis of odorant-binding proteins was conducted to determine crucial intermediate agents in olfaction. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Harald Biessmann

School of 
Biological Sciences

We are using molecular techniques to understand the olfactory processes that control host-finding behavior of female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes vs. sugar-feeding males. This will provide the basis for a promising approach to controlling transmission of the malaria parasite by blood-feeding mosquitoes. It is aimed to reduce the frequency of insect-host interaction by new and efficient insect repellents. We use microarray studies that became feasible with the recently published A. gambiae genome sequence to compare gene expression levels in female vs. male antennae. Our efforts have identified some genes encoding odor-binding proteins, which are most likely involved in female host seeking. Based on these findings and a better understanding of the mosquito odor recognition process, new insect repellents can be designed. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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If you wish to view the paper in its entirety, please select the link given to the PDF file. pdf_logo.gif (126 bytes)[cheah_le.pdf]

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