The Spatial Repellents program was initiated by Dr. Nicole L. Achee and Dr. Neil F. Lobo in 2013. They are both Research Associate Professors within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and members of the Eck Institute for Global Health.
Nicole L. Achee
She joined the Eck Institute for Global Health faculty in 2013, following a 2-year position as Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. She has a combined 15 years of experience in vector behavior research related to the epidemiology and control of arthropod-borne diseases, including evaluation of vector ecology, habitat management and adult control strategies, disease risk modeling using GIS and remote sensing technologies, and evaluation of chemical actions against mosquito vectors under both laboratory and field conditions. She has worked in the international settings of Belize, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Indonesia, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand, and Tanzania. Achee was the principal investigator of a research program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on the development of spatial repellents as stand-alone tools for use in combination push-pull systems to reduce human-vector contact for dengue prevention. She is a consultant for the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES), is an Executive Council member of the American Committee of Medical Entomology (ACME), a member of the WHO Global Collaboration for the Development of Pesticides for Public Health partnership (GCDPP), and served as the lead scientist for the recent publication of the WHO Guidelines for Efficacy Testing of Spatial Repellents. For more information about Dr. Achee.
To learn more about Dr. Achee's lab, click here.
Neil F. Lobo
His research focuses on malaria transmission in disease endemic countries. Malaria is transmitted by species of Anopheles mosquitoes that vary markedly in biological attributes, including behavioral patterns of blood feeding (endophily vs. exophily or night vs. dawn/dusk blood feeding), response to insecticides, and larval habitats. Variation and changes in mosquito behavior in response to interventions impact the effectiveness of preventative measures that are currently used, such as insecticide treated bed nets (ITN), indoor residual spraying (IRS), and larval habitat treatments or modifications. The correct identification of local mosquito species with their associated behaviors, contribution to disease transmission, and their susceptibility to interventions, is vital in the decision process that leads to the most efficient selection of interventions to reduce disease burden.
His work looks at vector genomics and vector species partitioning, which examine the genetic basis of associated behavioral phenotypes that effect malaria transmission so that novel intervention strategies can be created based on the mosquito’s behaviors. He also conducts epidemiological studies, looking at the effect of interventions and a combination of interventions on mosquito vector populations, disease transmission in humans, human immune responses, as well as vector behavioral changes in response to these interventions.
He collaborates with many international researchers and organizations and have worked in South America, East and West Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. His malaria work in the Solomon Islands was featured in the Australian National Geographic in May 2013. He has also served as a consultant for the Indonesian military to reduce malaria infections. For more information about Dr. Lobo.