Insects respond rapidly to bacterial infection with potent immune molecules called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Some of these peptides have potential to be used in human infections against bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. My students and I examine a diverse array of insects for the presence of AMPs and test their effectiveness against bacteria. We are especially interested in how parasitoids suppress, modify, or otherwise influence the immune response of the host to parasitic and bacterial infection.
Claire Hamblen - Cicada Wings as a Biocidal Surface
Taylor Lewelling - Antibiotic Effects of Dragonfly Wings on Gram Positive Bacteria
Jacob Lemon - Differential Immune Response in Parasitized and Non-Parasitized Squash Bugs (Anasa tristis)
Hannah Shea - Antibiotic Effects of Immunized Manduca Sexta Hemolymph on Gram Positive Bacteria
Deryn St. James - Measuring the Melanization Cascade in Infected Tobacco Hornworms (Manduca Sexta)