My lab focuses on the molecular host-pathogen and vector-pathogen interactions. Vector-borne pathogens have evolved in close relationship with their vectors and hosts for thousands of years. Thus, they have acquired mechanisms to manipulate the cellular machinery of both, the vector and the mammalian host. I am interested in how vector-borne pathogens influence host and vector cellular responses, such as immune responses, cellular trafficking, and vesicle secretion.
We are also interested in how tick-borne pathogens sense environmental changes when moving between the vector and the mammalian host. Members of the Anaplasmataceae change their protein profile during their development within the mammalian host when compared to the vector. We want to use these bacteria as a model to understand what clues intracellular bacteria use to detect changes in environment. This knowledge could lead to development of interventions to disrupt the life cycle of tick-borne pathogens, and prevent disease in humans and animals.
- Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Minnesota - (Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States) 2014
- M.Sc. in Entomology, University of Minnesota - (Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States) 2008
- B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering, Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School - (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) 2003
- Chavez, A., O'Neal, A. J., Santambrogio, L., Kotsyfakis, M., & Pedra, J. (2019). Message in a vesicle - trans-kingdom intercommunication at the vector-host interface. JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE. 132(6), jcs224212-jcs224212.
- Chavez, A., Herron, M. J., Nelson, C. M., Felsheim, R. F., Oliver, J. D., Burkhardt, N. Y., Kurtti, T. J., & Munderloh, U. G. (2019). Mutational analysis of gene function in the Anaplasmataceae: Challenges and perspectives. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. 10(2), 482-494.
- Carroll, E., Wang, X., Shaw, D. K., O'Neal, A. J., Chavez, A., Brown, L. J., ... Pedra, J. (2019). p47 licenses activation of the immune deficiency pathway in the tick Ixodes scapularis. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES. 116(1), 205-210.
- McClure, E. E., Chavez, A., Shaw, D. K., Carlyon, J. A., Ganta, R. R., Noh, S. M., ... Pedra, J. (2017). Engineering of obligate intracellular bacteria: progress, challenges and paradigms. NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY. 15(9), 544-558.
- Shaw, D. K., Wang, X., Brown, L. J., Chavez, A., Reif, K. E., Smith, A. A., ... Pedra, J. (2017). Infection-derived lipids elicit an immune deficiency circuit in arthropods. Nature Communications. 8, 14401-14401.