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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Shirley Luckhart, Ph.D.


University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Rm 3437 Tupper Hall
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530) 754-6963
Lab: (530) 754-4932
FAX: (530) 752-8692


University of Florida B.A. Natural Resource Conservation
Auburn University M.S. Entomology
Rutgers University Ph.D. Entomology

Member of the Graduate Groups of Microbiology, Immunology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Entomology

Dr. Luckhart's Community of Science Page

Research interests

General areas of research in the laboratory include: the molecular cell biology and biochemistry of malaria parasite transmission, the functional characterization of the immunological crosstalk and cell signaling that occurs between the mosquito and the mammalian host during bloodfeeding, and the impact of endemic co-infections on malaria parasite development and transmission. Specific research projects include: the conserved signal transduction pathways involved in anti-parasite host innate immunity; systems biology and function of immune factors and cell signaling pathways that are activated between mosquitoes and their mammalian hosts at the interface of bloodfeeding; identification and functional analyses of naturally occurring genetic polymorphisms associated with malaria parasite infection; mechanistic studies of enhanced pathology of HIV and non-typhoidal Salmonella co-infection with malaria.

Selected publications

Corby-Harris, V., A. Drexler, L.W. de Jong, Y. Antonova, N. Pakpour, R. Ziegler, F. Ramberg, E.E. Lewis, J.M. Brown, S. Luckhart, and M.A. Riehle. 2010. Activation of Akt signaling reduces the prevalence and intensity of malaria parasite infection and lifespan in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. In press, PLoS Pathogens.

Horton, A.A., Y. Lee, C.A. Coulibaly, V.K. Rashbrook, A.J. Cornel, G.C. Lanzaro, and S. Luckhart. 2010. Identification of three single nucleotide polymorphisms in Anopheles gambiae immune signaling genes that are associated with natural Plasmodium falciparum infection. Malaria J. 9:16-173.

Gutiérrez, L.A., G.F. Gómez, J.J. González, M.I. Castro, S. Luckhart, J.E. Conn, and M.M. Correa. 2010. Microgeographic genetic variation of the malaria vector Anopheles darlingi Root (Diptera: Culicidae) from Cordoba and Antioquia, Colombia. Am. J. Trop. Med.

Roux, C.M., B.P. Butler, J. Chau, T.A. Paixao, K. Cheung, R. Santos, S. Luckhart, and R.M. Tsolis. 2010. Increased susceptibility to Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium infection during malaria depends on both anemia and parasite-specific factors. Infect. Immun. 78:1520-7.

Luckhart, S., S.W. Lindsay, A.A. James, and T.W. Scott. 2010 Reframing critical needs in vector biology and management of vector-borne diseases. PLoS NTDs 4:e566.

Vodovotz, Y, G. Constantine, J. Faeder, Q. Mi, J. Rubin, J. Bartels, J. Sarkar, R. Squires, R. Zamora, S. Luckhart, B. Ermentrout and G. An. 2010. Translational systems approaches to the biology of inflammation and healing. Immunopharm. Immunotox. 32:181-95.

Gutiérrez, L.A., J.J. González, G.F. Gómez, M.I. Castro, D.A. Rosero, S. Luckhart, J.E. Conn, and M.M. Correa. 2009. Species composition and natural infectivity of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) in Córdoba and Antioquia, states in northwestern Colombia. Mem. Inst. Osw. Cruz. 104:1117-24.

Gutierrez, L.A., N. Naranjo, N., A.V. Cienfuegos, S. Luckhart, J.E. Conn, and M.M. Correa. 2009. Population structure analyses and demographic history of the malaria vector Anopheles albimanus in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Colombia. Malaria J. 8:259.

Surachetpong, W., N. Singh, N., K.W. Cheung, and S. Luckhart. 2009. MAPK ERK signaling regulates the TGF-beta1-dependent mosquito response to Plasmodium falciparum. PLoS Pathogens 5:e1000366.

Giulivi, C., C. Inta, A.A. Horton, and S. Luckhart. 2008. Metabolic pathways in Anopheles stephensi mitochondria. Biochem. J. 415:309-16.

Drexler, A.L., Y. Vodovotz, and S. Luckhart. 2008. Plasmodium development in the mosquito: biology bottlenecks and opportunities for mathematical modeling. Trends Parasitol. 24:333-6.

Gutiérrez, L.A., N. Naranjo, L.M. Jaramillo, C. Muskus, S. Luckhart, J.E. Conn and M.M. Correa, M.M. 2008. Natural infectivity of Anopheles species from the Pacific and Atlantic regions of Colombia. Acta Tropica 107:99-105.

Cienfuegos, A.V., Gómez. G.F., Córdoba, L.A, Luckhart, S., Conn, J.E., Correa, M.M. 2008. Design and evaluation of methodologies based on PCR-RFLP of ITS2 for the molecular identification of mosquitoes Anopheles spp. (Diptera: Culicidae) of the Pacific Coast of Colombia. Rev. Biomed. 19:35-44.

Kang, M-A., T.M. Mott, E.C. Tapley, E.E. Lewis, and S. Luckhart. 2008. Human insulin regulates oxidative stress and aging in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi. J. Exp. Biol. 211:741-8.

Luckhart, S., M.J. Lieber, N. Singh, R. Zamora, and Y. Vodovotz. 2007. Low levels of mammalian TGF-beta1 are protective against malaria parasite infection, a paradox clarified in the mosquito host. Exp. Parasitol. 118:290-296.

Akman-Anderson, L., M. Olivier, and S. Luckhart. 2007. Induction of nitric oxide synthase and activation of signaling proteins in Anopheles mosquitoes by the malaria pigment, hemozoin. Infect. Immun. 75:4012-4019.

Correa-Ochoa, M., M. Zapata, A.V. Cienfuegos, O. Quiros, M.L. Quiñones and S. Luckhart. 2007. Discrimination of Anopheles species from San Pedro de Urabá-Antioquia, Colombia, by PCR-RFLP analysis of ITS sequences. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 77:67-72.

Peterson, T.M.L., A.J. Gow, and S. Luckhart. 2007. Nitric oxide metabolites induced in Anopheles stephensi control malaria parasite infection. Free Rad. Biol. Med. 42:132-142.

Luckhart, S., K. Kato, and C. Giulivi. 2007. Impact of nitrative/nitrosative stress in mitochondria: unraveling targets for malaria chemotherapy. Adv. Exp. Biol. 1:129-149.

Luckhart, S. and M.A. Riehle. 2007. The insulin signaling cascade from nematodes to mammals: insights into innate immunity of Anopheles mosquitoes to malaria parasite infection. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 31:647-56.