issues and experts

SFU-Brazilian researchers track roots of insect transmitted disease

October 26, 2017
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Researchers at SFU and Brazil’s Federal University of Rio de Janeiro are collaborating to determine why certain insects transmit diseases. For the next two weeks, Brazilian scientist Pedro Oliveira will be at SFU working with biological sciences professor Carl Lowenberger. The two established a connection to fuse their complementary research on the transmission of harmful and deadly diseases that include Dengue virus, Zika virus, and Chagas disease. 

“Much of our research looks at how these insect vectors recognize and eliminate parasites, and how the parasites inactivate or modulate the immune systems of the insect vectors for their own benefit,” says Lowenberger. “The hope is that by understanding the molecular interactions between insect and parasites or pathogens, we might identify targets to reduce transmission to humans.” 

The collaboration has led some of Lowenberger's students to Brazil for four-month periods to work with Oliveira. Further student research exchanges between the two countries are planned.

 Lowenberger and Oliveira, who is at SFU until the end of next week, can be available for interviews. 

Carl Lowenberger, Faculty of Science, 778.782.3985; clowenbe@sfu.ca