Shahid Karim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Research in my laboratory focuses on the arthropod vectors of infectious disease agents and attempts to use functional genomics tools to identify arthropod vector-derived proteins required for prolonged blood-feeing and pathogen infection in the mammalian host. Our long-term goal is to reduce or block the spreading of vector-borne diseases by interfering with/blocking the mediating role of vector proteins. We are investigating the capacity of vector saliva immuno-modulatory factors at the vector-host interface with an overall aim to block their detrimental action to the host. Vector-borne diseases affect most parts of the world and constitute serous current day public health problems in vital need of solutions. Arthropod vectors also serve as a potential means of introducing, propagating and spreading agents of public health significance. The current work in my laboratory focuses on Amblyomma maculatum, vector of Rickettsia parkeri; we use high-throughput molecular strategies to identify tick saliva-derived molecules capable of stimulating disease-preventing tick rejection or pathogen transmission-blocking responses.
*Villarreal AM, Adamson SW, Browning RE, Budachetri K, Sajid MS, Karim S. 2013. Molecular characterization and functional significance of the Vti family of SNARE proteins in tick salivary glands. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 43(5), 483-493.