Rockefeller’s Leslie B. Vosshall Honored with the Dickson Prize in Medicine for Work with Mosquitoes

Leslie B. Vosshall, PhD

Leslie B. Vosshall, PhD, Rockefeller’s Robin Chemers Neustein Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior who also serves as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of HHMI, will receive this year’s Dickson Prize in Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Vosshall has pioneered the study of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which transmits pathogens causing human diseases including dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever. She developed tools required for these investigations, including the complete genome sequence of Ae. aegypti and the ability to knock out specific genes in the A. aegypti genome using CRISPR/Cas9. She has characterized the factors that attract these mosquitoes to humans as well as the olfactory chemosensors and neural circuits of mosquitoes that enable them to perceive and home in on the veins of humans. Her work has provided new insight into ways to perturb the ability of mosquitoes to find their human hosts and to curb mosquito appetite.

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