Carlos A. Brito-Sierra

Carlos A. Brito-Sierra Profile Picture
Life Sciences

Mentor / Lab:
Richard J. Kuhn

Specific Research Area / Project:
Flavivirus maturation in mosquitoes

Undergraduate Institution:
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota DC

Lab / Personal work-related websites:
Lab Website

Research Profile:

Mosquito-borne diseases (MBD) such as Dengue, Yellow Fever, Zika or West Nile are a major concern globally. These diseases are caused by the infection of viruses from the genus Flavivirus, typically transmitted by Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) or Aedes albopictus (the asian tiger mosquito). These two species of mosquitoes are widely spread around the world, putting at risk around two thirds of global population. Controlling MBD at the level of the insect vector has shown remarkable outcomes by using insecticides. However, mosquitoes may have important roles in the environment. Therefore, it is necessary to develop strategies to control disease at the insect level without killing them.

First of all, it is important to understand how flaviviruses reproduce within a mosquito. To do that, we need to address basic biological questions such as the life cycle of the virus, which involves replication, assembly and maturation. The maturation process is critical for the production of infectious viral particles, and it occurs upon cleavage of prM (one of the structural proteins that conform the virus particle) in a pH-dependent manner. There is not clear understanding of how viruses mature in mosquitoes. Identifying such process would be beneficial to develop strategies to prevent progress of infection in the mosquito, and then stop disease transmission.

About Me:

When I got my acceptance letter for the PULSE program in late February 2016. It is important to mention that by that time I was in Colombia. South America was facing the peak of the Zika outbreak. Zika was the hot topic everywhere. Then, later in April, Dr. Richard Kuhn's lab published a paper where they resolved the first structure of the Zika virus (Sirohi et al., 2016). Richard was in the news everywhere, and I was like "Now that I am going to Purdue, I want to be in his lab". The dream came true and now I am exactly where I wanted to be.

I officially joined the PULSe program in August 2016. It has been two successful years full of wonderful experiences. I enjoy going to the Corec, trying the different restaurants of the Greater Lafayette Area and interacting with the world-class environment that Purdue offers.


  • Scholarship at the World Science Conference, Israel, 2015.
  • Scholarship Undergraduate Research Experience Purdue-Colombia, UREP-C, 2015
  • Graduate School’s Lynn Fellowship, Purdue University, 2016


  • J. P. VanZee, J. A Schlueter, S. Schlueter, P. Dixon, Carlos A. Brito-Sierra and C. A. Hill. 2015. “Paralog analyses reveal gene duplication events and genes under positive selection in Ixodes scapularis and other ixodid ticks” BMC Genomics.
  • Carlos A. Brito-Sierra & Hugo Lopez-Arévalo Registro de mamíferos en las pinturas rupestres de Cerro Azul, Guaviare, Colombia. Book Chapter: Saberes Etnozoológicos Latinoamericanos. UEFS. 2015 175pp
  • Benjamin J Matthews, Olga Dudchenko, Sarah Kingan, Sergey Koren, Igor Antoshechkin, Jacob E Crawford, William J Glassford, Margaret Herre, Seth N Redmond, Noah H Rose, Gareth D Weedall, Yang Wu, Sanjit S Batra, Carlos A Brito-Sierra, Steven D Buckingham, Corey L Campbell, Saki Chan, Eric Cox, Benjamin R Evans, Thanyalak Fansiri, Igor Filipovic, Albin Fontaine, Andrea Gloria-Soria, Richard Hall, Vinita S Joardar, Andrew K Jones, Raissa G G Kay, Vamsi Kodali, Joyce Lee, Gareth J Lycett, Sara N Mitchell, Jill Muehling, Michael R Murphy, Arina Omer, Frederick A Partridge, Paul Peluso, Aviva Presser Aiden, Vidya Ramasamy, Gordana Rasic, Sourav Roy, Karla Saavedra-Rodriguez, Shruti Sharan, Atashi Sharma, Melissa Smith, Joe Turner, Allison M Weakley, Zhilei Zhao, Omar S Akbari, William C Black IV, Han Cao, Alistair C Darby, Catherine Hill, J. Spencer Johnston, Terence D Murphy, Alexander S Raikhel, David B Sattelle, Igor V Sharakhov, Bradley J White, Li Zhao, Erez Lieberman Aiden, Richard S Mann, Louis Lambrechts, Jeffrey R Powell, Maria V Sharakhova, Zhijian Tu, Hugh M Robertson, Carolyn S McBride, Alex R Hastie, Jonas Korlach, Daniel E Neafsey, Adam M Phillippy, Leslie B Vosshall. Improved Aedes aegypti mosquito reference genome assembly enables biological discovery and vector control. bioRxiv 240747 (2018). doi:10.1101/240747. Accepted in Nature


  • Brito-Sierra, C.A. & Lopez A, H. F. (2014, December) Registro de Mamíferos en las Pinturas Rupestres de Cerro Azul, Guaviare, Colombia. Presentation at the IV Colombian Congress of Zoology, Cartagena, Colombia.
  • Brito-Sierra, C.A. Moreno G, A. Gonzalez, A.D. Calderon E, M. & Matta C, N.E. (2014, December) Survey of Hematozoa in San José del Guaviare Herpetofauna. Presentation at the IV Colombian Congress of Zoology, Cartagena, Colombia.
  • Castro A, M. Karol, D. Brito-Sierra, C.A. Perovic, V. Bankova, D. Singht, A. Vassou, S. Sehr-Bassolé, S. & Prada, A. (2015, August) New Technical Applications of the Lotus Effect. Presentation at the World Science Conference, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Brito-Sierra, C.A. & Hill, C.A. (2015, November) Developing Resistance Breaking Insecticides for Mosquito Control: Molecular Characterization of Aedesand Anopheles GPCRs. Poster presented at the Progreso CPI symposium,Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
  • Brito-Sierra, C.A. & Hill, C.A. (2015, December) Developing Resistance Breaking Insecticides for Mosquito Control: Molecular Characterization of Aedesand Anopheles GPCRs. Presentation at the UREP-C symposium, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA..
  • Brito-Sierra, C.A. Alley, M. Kaur, J. Watts, VJ & Hill, C.A. (2017, April) Breaking Insecticide Resistance in Mosquito Vectors: Molecular Characterization of G-Protein Coupled Receptors ForInsecticide Development. Poster presented at the PULSe Spring Symposium, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
  • Brito-Sierra, CA. Sirohi, D. Hill, C.A. & Kuhn, R.J. (2018, May) Transcriptome Analysis of Proprotein Convertases in Aedessp. Mosquitoes. Poster presented at the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Biomolecular Galaxy Symposium, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.


  • Professional Development Co-Chair, 2018-2019
  • Science Night volunteer
  • Spring Fest Science in Schools volunteer
  • Hispanic Catholics Group at St. Thomas - member

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