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Dr Marta Andres Miguel
Appointment
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow
  • The Ear Institute
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Summary

I did my PhD at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) in the lab of Laura Torroja and Inmaculada Canal where I studied the embryonic development of ciliated sensory organs in Drosophila. During my MSc in Infectious Diseases I spent some time at the Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania), where I worked in the group of Sarah Moore on the use of spatial repellents to control outdoor malaria transmission. I then moved to the lab of Martin Göpfert at the University of Göttingen (Germany) where I studied the efferent modulation of the mosquito ears. After this, I joined the Robert Koch Institute (Germany), where I worked in the group of Walter Haas on the development of a molecular surveillance system for tuberculosis control. My multidisciplinary background has allowed me to merge my two passions, neuroscience and infectious disease control.

 

Recently, I have joined the lab of Joerg Albert at the Ear Institute to continue studying mosquito hearing. Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous diseases, which affect millions every year. Their high performance as disease vectors is facilitated by their outstanding sensory abilities. Regarding hearing, mosquitoes are most sensitive to sound than any other insect. Their hearing organ, the Johnston´s organ (JO), is a fascinating tiny antennal ear that houses around 15,000 auditory neurons. Within mating swarms, male mosquitoes use these sophisticated ears to acoustically detect female wing beats to mate with them. Despite this, the neuroscience behind mosquito hearing and swarming behaviour are almost entirely unknown.

 

In my project at the Ear Institute I intent to characterize the molecular mechanisms that modulate mosquito hearing and swarming behaviour with the aim of finding new targets of mosquito control strategies.

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