Chemical Ecologist Walter Leal to Evaluate European Commission's Malaria Vector Biology and Control Program
July 11, 2011
Chemical ecologist Walter Leal working in his lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--Chemical ecologist Walter Leal, professor and former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, has been invited to Greece to evaluate a two-year-old malaria vector biology and control program funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (EU/FP7).
Leal will participate in the second joint symposium of the EU/FP7-Funded Projects for Malaria Vector Biology and Control on Sunday, July 24 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, Greece.
"This is my first visit to Greece but unfortunately I can stay in the country only two days, due to prior commitments," he commented.
The symposium aims for closer interaction among the EU-FP7 consortia for vector research-based malaria control initiatives. The Common Evaluation Committee (EVEC), formed by the European Commission, will assess the research progress made by the four EU-FP7 Health Cooperation program-funded projects.
The research, targeting the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, involves six research consortia:
--Population age structure and age structure modification via Wolbachia in Anopheles gambiae
--Blocking malaria transmission by vaccines, drugs and immune mosquitoes: efficacy assessment and targets
--Population biology and molecular genetics of vectoral capacity in Anopheles gambiae, targeting reproductive behavior and immunity for transmission-refractory interventions
--European Network for Advanced Research on Olfaction for Malaria Transmitting Insect Control
--Controlling malaria by hitting the vector: new or improved vector control tools
--Research capacity for the implementation of genetic control of mosquitoes
Leal is one of the two experts from the United States to be part of the team evaluating the programs and discussing funding priorities. He is heavily involved in how insects detect smells and communicate. In a groundbreaking discovery that drew international attention, he and his lab revealed the secret mode of the insect repellent, DEET.
Following the symposium, the 5th International Meeting on the Molecular and Population Biology of Mosquitoes and other Disease Vectors will take place July 25-30 at the same site.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology