Serap Aksoy is the winner of the newly established “ Breakthroughs in Medical Entomology Award” at the 65th Annual Meeting of ASTMH in Atlanta. The award was given to Aksoy in recognition of the discoveries reported in the recent PNAS paper (Aksoy et al., 2016 PNAS, see recent links). In this paper, the Aksoy lab reported the novel role of the mammalian trypanosome surface proteins, known as Variant Surface Glycoproteins (VSG), in tsetse vector competence and infection establishment. While the role of the VSG proteins has been widely investigated in mammalian immune responses to trypanosomes, their involvement in invertebrate physiology, to once again favor parasite infection transmission, was previously unknown. This discovery now opens up new avenues to interfere with trypanosome transmission."
Submitted by Denise Meyer on November 29, 2016