Zika! // Eck Institute for Global Health // University of Notre Dame

Eck Institute for Global Health



The University of Notre Dame has a long history of being a global leader in the study of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito known to carry the Zika virus. The mosquito also has a history of carrying other deadly and life crippling diseases including Yellow fever, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya. Notre Dame has been a center for the study of Aedes aegypti since 1957. 

Recently, some of our faculty and alumni involved in this area of vector-borne disease research have been noted and quoted in the media reflecting their expertise and global collaborations. For more information on each of these click the links below:


Brian Foy ’94, PhD 

Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology at Colorado State University CNN Interview with chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta Zika virus: What we know

Dawn Wesson ’91 PhD 

Associate Professor of Tropical Medicine Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. Update on Zika Virus: Transmission, Clinical Implications and Potential for Introduction to the United States.


Nicole Achee, PhD

Research focuses on evaluation of vector ecology, habitat management and adult control strategies, disease risk modeling using GIS and remote sensing technologies, and evaluation of chemical actions against mosquito vectors including the Aedes species, the Zika virus vector. Consultant to the WHO on special repellents including those for Aedes aegypti.

Nora Besansky, PhD

NPR’s All Things Considered: Mosquitoes. What Are They Good For?

Frank Collins, PhD

Works primarily with Anopheles gambiae, the main vector for malaria, but developed and manages VectorBase, funded by the National Institutes of Health as a bioinformatics and computer science program which analyzes mosquito genomes that include the Zika virus vector: Aedes aegypti.

Molly Duman Scheel, PhD

NBC WNDU News Channel 16, South Bend experts address Zika virus concerns

CBS WSBT News Channel 22, Local researcher talks about contracting the Zika virus.  

CBS WSBT News Channel 22, Med School researchers in South Bend seek ways to slow Zika virus spread

South Bend Tribune, Med school researchers in South Bend seek ways to slow Zika virus spread

Giles Duffield, PhD

Researches circadian clock biology of mosquito vectors including Aedes aegypti.

Scott Emrich, PhD

Director of Bioinformatics and researches arthropod genomics including that of the Zika vector within the Aedes species.

Malcom J. Fraser, Jr., PhD

Specializing in molecular virology and transgenic engineering using molecular approaches to understanding and manipulating virus genetics like that ifhte Zika virus.

John Grieco, PhD

Medical entomologist researching vector control who is currently assisting the Ministry of Health in Belize develop a specific strategy for the Zika virus.

Neil Lobo, PhD

Works on effects of both human and vector behaviors on disease transmission and interventions.  Focuses on studies including dengue transmission dynamics which is transmitted by the same vector, Aedes aegypti, as Zika.

Greg Madey, PhD

Computer science applications to address environmental challenges including ector-borne diseases. Led the team that developed and now manages VecNet, a simplified interface to model the impacts of interventions on malaria transmission for control and eradication. These might be applicable to the Zika virus vector: Aedes aegypti.

Mary Ann McDowell, PhD

Working on Leishmania and other insect vectors of human disease and to develop insecticides to control vector-borne diseases like the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries Zika.

Joseph O’Tousa, PhD

Working on vision of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries Zika.

Alex Perkins, PhD  

Notre Dame News, Mosquitoes capable of Carrying Zika found in Washington, D.C.

David Severson, PhD  

The Observer, Professor Dispels Zika virus misconceptions

National Geographic, Can we Stop Mosquitoes From Infecting the World

Robert Stahelin, PhD

Research focused on lipid-enveloped viruses including the Zika virus. 

Michelle Whaley, PhD

Working on vision of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries Zika.

Zainulabueddin Syed, PhD

Works on a mosquito’s sensory structure and function in their ability to adapt to new environments and utilize new food resources.  Research includes the Zika mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

IN THE NEWS for select information about the latest findings and articles on the Zika virus.

For up-to-date information on the Zika virus, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/

For more informaiton contact the Eck Institute for Global Health, Communications Specialist: Sarah Craig 574-631-2665 or Craig.20@nd.edu