"Kill the Messenger: Developing mosquitocidal vaccines and drugs to control mosquito-borne diseases"
*Note: this is a hybrid event. Please register to attend either in person or virtually.
Brian Foy '94, PhD
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases
Colorado State University
Abstract: Dr. Foy has helped pioneer studies designed to target mosquito vectors through their bloodmeals as a way to disrupt mosquito-borne pathogen transmission and reduce disease. His work in this field started in graduate school with attempts to develop mosquitocidal vaccine antigen candidates against malaria vectors, and evolved into researching how endectocidal drugs may be used to control the spread of malaria and certain arboviral diseases. His lab’s research spans from molecular and genetic studies to field studies in West Africa and the western U.S. His endectocide studies have culminated in leading the first randomized cluster clinical trial testing ivermectin for malaria control, and he is presently leading a follow-up clinical trial in Burkina Faso.
Bio: Dr. Foy is a Professor and member of the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases at Colorado State University. He works with vectors and vector-borne pathogens to span research across both basic and applied biology. This reflects Dr. Foy's diverse interests and training, from his undergrad at Notre Dame in medical entomology, anthropology and ecology and graduate school training at Tulane in molecular and cellular biology, immunology and tropical medicine research. His current interests lie in defining concepts that govern blood meal acquisition and digestion by vectors, and parasite and arbovirus transmission from vertebrates to vectors and vice versa. Dr. Foy is also very keen on using that knowledge, combined with the epidemiological concepts that define vector-borne diseases, to practically control their transmission.
The George B. Craig, Jr. Memorial Lecture Series honors Notre Dame faculty member and distinguished scientist George Brownlee Craig, Jr. (1930-1995). A Chicago native, Craig joined the Notre Dame Biology faculty in 1957 after receiving a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. While at Notre Dame, he established a world-renowned research program in mosquito biology and genetics, serving as advisor to 40 graduate students and 39 postdoctoral fellows, with whom he published more than 500 scientific papers. He was a passionate teacher and mentor to countless undergraduate students. Recipient of numerous awards and honors during his career at Notre Dame, he was honored by the Entomological Society of America in 1975 with its first Distinguished Teaching Award, received the Hoogstrahl Medal from the American Committee for Medical Entomology, and in 1983 became the first Notre Dame faculty member to be elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. This lectureship is funded, in part, by an endowment established from contributions donated in his memory.