Welcome to the Rückert lab at UNR. We are a molecular biology research lab working on mosquito-borne viruses and their vectors. We may also dabble in tick-borne viruses and tick antiviral responses in the future.
Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) present a constant threat to public health across all continents except Antarctica. The global incidence is increasing due to climate change and globalization. The recent outbreaks of Zika virus and chikungunya virus across large parts of the Americas are examples for arbovirus emergence into new geographic areas. However, some arboviruses, such as West Nile virus or California encephalitis virus, also present a threat to the health of U.S. residents, including those of the state of Nevada.
Our research program focuses on the interactions of these arboviruses with their mosquito (or tick) vector. Specifically, we study the antiviral responses of mosquitoes. Our ultimate aim is to increase our understanding of virus-vector interactions to identify novel methods and targets for the control of arbovirus transmission.
My postdoctoral work at Colorado State University really paved the way for my laboratory's interests. I worked on antiviral RNA interference in ticks and Culex spp. mosquitoes, arbovirus coinfection of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and many other Zika, dengue, chikungunya and West Nile virus projects. I experienced working in a highly collaborative environment and I plan to nurture external and internal collaborations within my laboratory as well. If you are interested in joining the Rückert lab or collaborating with us, please do not hesitate to contact me.