Shirley Luckhart, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Tupper Hall
Room 3146
Davis Campus

General areas of research in the laboratory include: the molecular cell biology and biochemistry of malaria parasite transmission, functional characterization of the immunological crosstalk and cell signaling that occurs between the mosquito and the mammalian host during bloodfeeding, and the impact of endemic co-infections on malaria parasite development and transmission. Specific research projects include: the conserved signal transduction pathways involved in anti-parasite host innate immunity; development of novel anti-malarial therapeutics with transmission blocking activity; systems biology and function of immune factors and cell signaling pathways that are activated between mosquitoes and their mammalian hosts at the interface of bloodfeeding; and mechanistic studies of enhanced pathology of HIV and non-typhoidal Salmonella co-infection with malaria.

Pakpour N, Cheung KW, Luckhart S. Enhanced transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes in a murine model of type 2 diabetes. Malar J. 2016 Apr 21;15(1):231. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1277-7. PubMed PMID: 27102766; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4839141.

Glennon EK, Adams LG, Hicks DR, Dehesh K, Luckhart S. Supplementation with abscisic acid reduces malaria disease severity and parasite transmission. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Mar 21. pii: 15-0904. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27001761.

Potts RA, Tiffany CM, Pakpour N, Lokken KL, Tiffany CR, Cheung K, Tsolis RM, Luckhart S. Mast cells and histamine alter intestinal permeability during malaria parasite infection. Immunobiology. 2016 Mar;221(3):468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2015.11.003. Epub 2015 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 26626201; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4724463.

Pietri JE, Pietri EJ, Potts R, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Plasmodium falciparum suppresses the host immune response by inducing the synthesis of insulin-like peptides (ILPs) in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Dev Comp Immunol. 2015 Nov;53(1):134-44. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2015.06.012. Epub 2015 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 26165161; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4536081.

Mooney JP, Lokken KL, Byndloss MX, George MD, Velazquez EM, Faber F, Butler BP, Walker GT, Ali MM, Potts R, Tiffany C, Ahmer BM, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. Inflammation-associated alterations to the intestinal microbiota reduce colonization resistance against non-typhoidal Salmonella during concurrent malaria parasite infection. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 5;5:14603. doi: 10.1038/srep14603. PubMed PMID: 26434367; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4592952.

Luckhart S, Pakpour N, Giulivi C. Host-pathogen interactions in malaria: cross-kingdom signaling and mitochondrial regulation. Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Oct;36:73-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 23. Review. PubMed PMID: 26210301; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4593738.

Wang B, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Drexler A, Glennon EK, Surachetpong W, Cheung K, Aguirre A, Klyver JM, Lewis EE, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Giulivi C, Luckhart S. Anopheles stephensi p38 MAPK signaling regulates innate immunity and bioenergetics during Plasmodium falciparum infection. Parasit Vectors. 2015 Aug 19;8:424. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-1016-x. PubMed PMID: 26283222; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4539710.

Cator LJ, Pietri JE, Murdock CC, Ohm JR, Lewis EE, Read AF, Luckhart S, Thomas MB. Immune response and insulin signaling alter mosquito feeding behaviour to enhance malaria transmission potential. Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 8;5:11947. doi: 10.1038/srep11947. PubMed PMID: 26153094; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4495552.

Neafsey DE, Waterhouse RM,…Luckhart S, Muskavitch MA, Ribeiro JM, Riehle MA, Sharakhov IV, Tu Z, Zwiebel LJ, Besansky NJ. Mosquito genomics. Highly evolvable malaria vectors: the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquitoes. Science. 2015 Jan 2;347(6217):1258522. doi: 10.1126/science.1258522. Epub 2014 Nov 27. PubMed PMID: 25554792; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4380271.

Miller RH, Obuya CO, Wanja EW, Ogutu B, Waitumbi J, Luckhart S, Stewart VA. Characterization of Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri in Western Kenya utilizing a novel species-specific real-time PCR assay. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Jan 15;9(1):e0003469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003469. eCollection 2015 Jan. PubMed PMID: 25590587; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4295880.

Mooney JP, Butler BP, Lokken KL, Xavier MN, Chau JY, Schaltenberg N, Dandekar S, George MD, Santos RL, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. The mucosal inflammatory response to non-typhoidal Salmonella in the intestine is blunted by IL-10 during concurrent malaria parasite infection. Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Nov;7(6):1302-11. doi: 10.1038/mi.2014.18. Epub 2014 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 24670425; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4177018.

Pietri JE, Cheung KW, Luckhart S. Knockdown of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in the midgut of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes using antisense morpholinos. Insect Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;23(5):558-65. doi: 10.1111/imb.12103. Epub 2014 May 28. PubMed PMID: 24866718; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4159403.

Jiang X, Peery A, Hall AB, Sharma A, Chen XG, Waterhouse RM, Komissarov A, Riehle MM, Shouche Y, Sharakhova MV, Lawson D, Pakpour N, Arensburger P, Davidson VL, Eiglmeier K, Emrich S, George P, Kennedy RC, Mane SP, Maslen G, Oringanje C, Qi Y, Settlage R, Tojo M, Tubio JM, Unger MF, Wang B, Vernick KD, Ribeiro JM, James AA, Michel K, Riehle MA, Luckhart S, Sharakhov IV, Tu Z. Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi. Genome Biol. 2014 Sep 23;15(9):459. doi: 10.1186/s13059-014-0459-2. PubMed PMID: 25244985; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4195908.

Pakpour N, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Effects of ingested vertebrate-derived factors on insect immune responses. Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2014 Sep 1;3:1-5. PubMed PMID: 25401083; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4228800.

Murdock CC, Blanford S, Luckhart S, Thomas MB. Ambient temperature and dietary supplementation interact to shape mosquito vector competence for malaria. J Insect Physiol. 2014 Aug;67:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.05.020. Epub 2014 Jun 6. PubMed PMID: 24911425; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4107084.

Brenton AA, Souvannaseng L, Cheung K, Anishchenko M, Brault AC, Luckhart S. Engineered single nucleotide polymorphisms in the mosquito MEK docking site alter Plasmodium berghei development in Anopheles gambiae. Parasit Vectors. 2014 Jun 23;7:287. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-287. PubMed PMID: 24957684; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4077580.

Drexler AL, Pietri JE, Pakpour N, Hauck E, Wang B, Glennon EK, Georgis M, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Human IGF1 regulates midgut oxidative stress and epithelial homeostasis to balance lifespan and Plasmodium falciparum resistance in Anopheles stephensi. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jun 26;10(6):e1004231. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004231. eCollection 2014 Jun. PubMed PMID: 24968248; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4072789.

Lokken KL, Mooney JP, Butler BP, Xavier MN, Chau JY, Schaltenberg N, Begum RH, Müller W, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. Malaria parasite infection compromises control of concurrent systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection via IL-10-mediated alteration of myeloid cell function. PLoS Pathog. 2014 May 1;10(5):e1004049. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004049. eCollection 2014 May. PubMed PMID: 24787713; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4006898.

Naranjo-Díaz N, Altamiranda M, Luckhart S, Conn JE, Correa MM. Malaria vectors in ecologically heterogeneous localities of the Colombian Pacific region. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 4;9(8):e103769. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103769. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25090233; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4121283.

Hauck ES, Antonova-Koch Y, Drexler A, Pietri J, Pakpour N, Liu D, Blacutt J, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Overexpression of phosphatase and tensin homolog improves fitness and decreases Plasmodium falciparum development in Anopheles stephensi. Microbes Infect. 2013 Nov;15(12):775-87. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jun 15. PubMed PMID: 23774695; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3788859.

Price I, Ermentrout B, Zamora R, Wang B, Azhar N, Mi Q, Constantine G, Faeder JR, Luckhart S, Vodovotz Y. In vivo, in vitro, and in silico studies suggest a conserved immune module that regulates malaria parasite transmission from mammals to mosquitoes. J Theor Biol. 2013 Oct 7;334:173-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2013.05.028. Epub 2013 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 23764028; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3748211.

Chau JY, Tiffany CM, Nimishakavi S, Lawrence JA, Pakpour N, Mooney JP, Lokken KL, Caughey GH, Tsolis RM, Luckhart S. Malaria-associated L-arginine deficiency induces mast cell-associated disruption to intestinal barrier defenses against nontyphoidal Salmonella bacteremia. Infect Immun. 2013 Oct;81(10):3515-26. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00380-13. Epub 2013 May 20. PubMed PMID: 23690397; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3811760.

Naranjo-Diaz N, Rosero DA, Rua-Uribe G, Luckhart S, Correa MM. Abundance, behavior and entomological inoculation rates of anthropophilic anophelines from a primary Colombian malaria endemic area. Parasit Vectors. 2013 Mar 7;6:61. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-6-61. PubMed PMID: 23497535; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3637137.

Pakpour N, Akman-Anderson L, Vodovotz Y, Luckhart S. The effects of ingested mammalian blood factors on vector arthropod immunity and physiology. Microbes Infect. 2013 Mar;15(3):243-54. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 23370408; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3602389.

Luckhart S, Giulivi C, Drexler AL, Antonova-Koch Y, Sakaguchi D, Napoli E, Wong S, Price MS, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Pakpour N, Pietri JE, Cheung K, Georgis M, Riehle M. Sustained activation of Akt elicits mitochondrial dysfunction to block Plasmodium falciparum infection in the mosquito host. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Feb;9(2):e1003180. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003180. Epub 2013 Feb 28. PubMed PMID: 23468624; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3585164.

Drexler A, Nuss A, Hauck E, Glennon E, Cheung K, Brown M, Luckhart S. Human IGF1 extends lifespan and enhances resistance to Plasmodium falciparum infection in the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. J Exp Biol. 2013 Jan 15;216(Pt 2):208-17. doi: 10.1242/jeb.078873. PubMed PMID: 23255191; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3597202.

Pakpour N, Camp L, Smithers HM, Wang B, Tu Z, Nadler SA, Luckhart S. Protein kinase C-dependent signaling controls the midgut epithelial barrier to malaria parasite infection in anopheline mosquitoes. PLoS One. 2013 Oct 11;8(10):e76535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076535. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24146884; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3795702.