Chikungunya, West Nile and mosquito-borne disease experts

July 31, 2014  

Catherine Hill, professor of medical entomology, vector biology and a public health Extension specialist, studies the biology of insects that cause human diseases. One focus of her research is on the biology of mosquitoes and ticks that impact human and animal health. She is the coordinator of the Purdue Entomology Public Health Extension Program, which aims to reduce transmission of vector-borne diseases through education. Hill can discuss transmission, epidemiology, symptoms and prevention of mosquito-borne diseases. She also can discuss control of mosquito and other medically relevant pests including ticks, lice, fleas, chiggers and bedbugs.

CONTACT: 765-496-6157,

Purdue medical entomology website:

Richard Kuhn, professor and head of biological sciences, has studied the virus life cycle of chikungunya and related alphaviruses. He also studies the replication of West Nile and dengue viruses and their interactions with human and mosquito hosts. Kuhn, along with Michael Rossmann, Purdue's Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, first mapped the structure of the West Nile virus. Their collaborative research helps identify targets for future vaccines, antiviral drugs and treatments. Kuhn also is the Gerald and Edna Mann Director of the Bindley Bioscience Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

CONTACT: 765-494-4407,

Research website:

David Sanders, associate professor of biological sciences, has studied the chikungunya virus and viruses closely related to West Nile virus. His research focuses on how viruses enter insect and human cells. He also can discuss the role of mosquitoes in the virus cycle and the transmission from mosquito to host. 

CONTACT: 765-494-6453,

Faculty website:

Writers: Elizabeth K. Gardner, 765-494-2081,

Natalie van Hoose, 765-496-2050,

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