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Mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit are a constant health risk in tropical areas of the World. With increased global travel and trade, infected mosquitoes or infected humans increase disease burdens in areas previously not affected, including USA. West Nile virus invaded the east coast of USA in the 1990’s and is now a threat to humans across the country. Recent outbreaks of Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses in the Caribbean and South & Central American pose real threats for establishment here too.
Learn how scientists can use genetic tools, such as DNA sequencing, to learn about new strains of viruses. These tools also help researchers identify the cause of an infection, assess where new viruses come from, diagnose new cases, and develop preventive vaccines to protect us. Don’t miss this event. Yvonne will discuss the complexity of the issues in controlling these mosquito-borne viral diseases both here and in the Syrian refugee camps, and modern approaches to surveillance for both the diseases and the mosquito vectors.
Dr. Yvonne-Marie Linton is the Research Director of the U.S. Army Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit which is an affiliated agency of Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. The WRBU is charged with studying insects of biomedical importance (mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks etc.) that can transmit disease of global concern through their infected bites. Yvonne has over 20 years of experience as a research entomologist, collecting mosquitoes in 37 countries worldwide. She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and graduated from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland with her PhD in Zoology (Molecular Entomology) in 1998. She gained a permanent position as a Mosquito Systematist at the Natural History Museum in London where she developed a strong team before coming to the USA in 2011. She has over 70 scientific publications and, with two colleagues, is currently writing a book called “Mosquitoes of the World” that documents all 3,500 known mosquito species and highlights those of biomedical importance.