Alexander S. Raikhel

Alexander S. Raikhel

Alexander S. Raikhel is a distinguished professor at the University of California Riverside. He is a graduate of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) State University and the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he worked on ticks in the laboratory of the renowned acarologist professor Yu. S. Balashov. Following immigration to the United States, Raikhel began studies on mosquito reproduction. Throughout the years, his research has focused on regulatory pathways controlling various aspects of mosquito reproductive biology and has contributed significantly to the understanding of vitellogenesis in mosquitoes at cell biological, biochemical and molecular levels. He and his laboratory personnel have investigated juvenile hormone and ecdysone signaling in mosquitoes, and have uncovered the role of nutritional signaling-the amino acid-TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway-in mosquito adaptations for obligatory blood feeding. Work from Raikhel's laboratory has added to the knowledge of mosquito metabolism. Raikhel was among the first to establish genetic transformation in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. He and his co-workers instituted the Aedes aegypti mosquito binary Gal4-UAS system that enables researchers to study cell/tissue-, stage- and sex-specific expression of mosquito genes. These studies have opened the door for the refinement of genetics tools to investigate mosquito-vector interactions. Exploration of immunity in Raikhel’s laboratory was initiated by creating transgenic mosquitoes with altered elements of innate immunity. This provided insight into the Toll and IMD pathways as well as melanization in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Small non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, are known to control developmental timing, stem cell maintenance and other developmental processes in animals in plants. Work from the Raikhel laboratory has identified microRNAs that play significant roles regulating vital functions of mosquitoes, such as blood digestion and egg maturation. Raikhel's accomplishments in science have earned him honors, including the 2001 Entomological Society of America Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology and a 2002 National Institutes of Health MERIT Award. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and to the National Academy of Sciences.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Entomology and Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA


Editor: Alexander S. Raikhel Release Date: 25 Aug 2016
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