Suzan Mansourian

Suzan Mansourian

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Mosquito olfactory neurobiology

The malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is arguably the most dangerous animal on the planet, causing annually over 200 million infections and over 400.000 deaths (WHO World Malaria Report 2017). Mosquitoes use sense of smell (olfaction) for host seeking to blood feeding, mating, and oviposition site selection, as well as larval predator avoidance. Despite the fundamental role of olfaction in mosquito’s survival, the neural basis of olfactory guided behaviors in mosquitoes remained largely unknown. My work focuses on identifying molecular and cellular basis of olfactory guided oviposition selection in An. gambiae. I will use and generate genetically modified A. gambiae strains to isolate neurons and genes mediating egg-laying decisions. My project involves molecular techniques, Ca2+ imaging, electrophysiology, chemical analysis, and behavioral paradigms. 

This project will improve our understanding of sensory processing in mosquitoes and open up for the development of effective control strategies of this important disease vector.

My background

I obtained my Master on Agricultural Entomology in Tehran, Iran. In 2011, I moved to Sweden and joined the unit of Chemical Ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp. As a research assistant, I studied the evolution of the olfactory system of drosophilids – especially D. suzukii – under the supervision of Associate Professor Teun Dekker. After gaining new skills in the field, in 2014, I started my PhD in Lund university under supervision of Dr. Marcus Stensmyr. I studied Drosophila sensory neuroethology, focusing on olfactory circuits mediating repellency and hygrosensation. Upon my PhD graduation, I received 3 years fellowship from the  Swedish Research Council (VR) to do my Postdoc in Durham University and Lund University. 


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