Research in the Thomas Lab at Penn State has been supported by the following external funding sources:
Ongoing Research Support
- “Insects Feeding Insects: A Hemolymph-Based Mosquito Diet.”
Agency: Grand Challenges Explorations
The aim of this project is to investigate the potential for developing an artificial (non blood-based) diet for maintaining colonies of vector mosquitoes. The project takes the novel approach of using soft bodied insects as the basis for developing an artificial diet, based on pilot data that shows mosquitoes will feed on lepidopteran larvae and potentially produce viable eggs.
Role: PI (co-PI Jo Ohm, graduate student in Biology at Penn State).
- OPP1131603 “Transition of Eave Tubes from Concept to Implementation.”
Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This project aims to conduct a large randomized controlled trial, complemented by a series of smaller implementation trials, to demonstrate the epidemiological impact of eave tubes on malaria transmission and identify appropriate routes to implementation and commercialization across different socio-economic sectors in Africa.
Role: PI (co-PIs Bart Knols, In2Care; Raphael N’Guessan, LSHTM).
- R21 AI113609-01A1 “Quantifying insecticide impact on malaria transmission: does resistance matter?”
Agency: NIH NIAID
Resistance is spreading in most malaria-affected countries and there is a major concern that this will undermine current frontline interventions, such as insecticide treated nets and indoor residual sprays. Yet at present the evidence linking resistance to control failure is somewhat ambiguous. The aim of this project is to better understand how insecticide resistance impacts the ultimate ability of insecticide-based technologies to disrupt malaria transmission.
Role: PI (co-PI Maureen Coetzee, University of Witwatersrand).
- R01 AI110793-01A1 “Influence of temperature on malaria transmission and prospective vector control”
Agency: NIH NIAID
The aim of this project is to better understand how variation in environmental temperature affects both the ability of the Asian malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, to transmit malaria, and the potential of prospective control tools such as fungal biopesticides and GM mosquitoes to disrupt it.
Role: PI (co-PIs Courtney Murdock, UGA; Tony James, UC Irvine).
- #1518681 “Effects of temperature on vector-borne disease transmission: integrating theory with empirical data”
Agency: NSF EEID
Period: 09/2015-08/2019This project aims to develop an overall framework for characterizing the effects of environmental temperature on the dynamics and distribution of human vector-borne diseases.
Role: Co-PI (PI Erin Mordecai, Stanford; 4 other co-PIs).
- U19AI089676-01 “Center for the Study of Complex Malaria in India”
Aims to bring together a group of leading US experts in the fields of malaria parasite research to work in tandem with faculty at the National Institute of Malaria Research in India. Indian malaria complexity, its variation by location, and its consequences for malaria severity and transmission, are the research focus of the CSCMi, which aims to develop the knowledge, tools, and evidence-based strategies needed to support the intervention and control programs of Indian government organizations, and to build research capacity in India and help train its next generation of malaria and mosquito vector biologists.
Role: Co-PI (PI J. Carlton, NYU).
Completed Support (US)
- A low cost mosquito contamination device for sustainable malaria mosquito control.”
Agency: EU FP7
Period: 01/12/12 – 01/12/15
The aim of this project is to develop a number of prototype mosquito control interventions that can be deployed in and around the home, to add new options for the development of integrated vector management strategies.
Role: co-PI (PI B. Knols, In2Care, The Netherlands).
- R21 A1096036-01 “Effects of temperature on mosquito immunity and vector competence: do some like it hot?”
Agency: NIH NIAID
Role: PI (co-PI’s A. Read, C. Murdock, D. Cox-Foster
- “Towards implementation of a novel fungal biopesticide for IPM Of bedbugs”.
Agency: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Regional IPM Program.
Role: Co-PI (PI N. Jenkins).
- “Repurposing and reformulating fungal biopesticides for control of bed bugs”.
Role: Co-PI (PI Nina Jenkins).
- ME #44113123 “Towards sustainable control of flies in intensive animal production facilities”
Agency: AHDC, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Proof of principle grant aims to evaluate the potential for use of a fungal biopesticide as a premise spray for control of houseflies in chicken houses.
Role: co-PI (PI N. Jenkins).
- EF-0914384 “Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases”
Agency: NSF – EID program.
Aims to better understand the link between environmental temperature and the risk of transmission of malaria (focusing on African malaria vectors) and Dengue (focusing on SE Asia).
Role: PI (co-PI’s A. Read, R. Crane, M. Mann, T. Scott).
- R21 AI088094-01 “Existing malaria control insecticides – without the evolution of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes”
Agency: NIH NIAID
Aims to test the hypothesis that existing insecticides could deliver excellent malaria control without imposing selection for resistance if their active ingredients were simply diluted.
Role: Co-PI (PI A. Read).
- “Residual persistence and stability of candidate fungal biopesticide for IRS”
Agency: Innovative Vector Control Consortium – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Aims: To quantify the residual infectivity of fungal biopesticides on different test substrates to evaluate likely effectiveness for use as indoor residual sprays for mosquito control.
Role: PI (co-PI A. Read).
- “Giving mosquitoes a ‘head cold’ to stop odor-driven feeding on humans”
Agency: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Investigating the potential to infect malaria-carrying mosquitoes with a fungus that – like a head cold – suppresses their sense of smell and their ability to find human hosts, thus stopping transmission.
Role: Co-PI (with T. Baker, A. Read).
Completed Support (Australia and UK)
- Co-Investigator on project entitled “Development and Evaluation of Entomopathogenic Fungi for Controlling Malaria” funded by a Dutch Charity, 8/06 – 5/11.
- PI on project entitled “Novel use of fungal entomopathogens for sustainable control of mosquito-borne viruses” funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, 5/07 – 4/10.
- PI on project entitled “Designing and implementing large scale experiments in land use” funded through UK RELU programme, 2004-2005
- PI on research dissemination project entitled “Building capacity for agrobiodiversity research” funded by DFID, 2004.
- Co-PI on project entitled “Standard methodology to assess the risks from non-native species considered possible problems to the environment” funded by DEFRA, 2003-2004.
- Co-PI (with Andrew Read at Edinburgh University) on project entitled “Novel use of pathogens for malaria control” funded by The Wellcome Trust, 2002-2004.
- Lead scientist on project entitled “Protecting Biodiversity through the Development of Environmentally Sustainable Locust Control (ESLOCO)” funded under EU FPV, 2000-2003.
- PI on project entitled “Development of biologically-based control strategies for environmentally sustainable control of red locust in Central and Southern Africa” funded under DFID Crop Protection Programme, 2000-2004.