Institute for Integrative Genome Biology


Alexander RaikhelAlexander Raikhel

Distinguished Professor of Entomology;
UC Presidential Chair 

Mailing Address:

Entomology /338
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521

Phone: (951) 827-2129
Fax: (951) 827-2130
Email: alexander.raikhel@ucr.edu

UCR Living the Promise Profile (2010) 


PhD 1975 Zoological Institute of Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, Russia
MS 1970 St. Petersburg (Leningrad) University, Russia

College/Division Affiliation:

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Center/Inst Affiliation(s):

Center for Disease Vector Research

Areas Of Expertise:

Molecular Biology of Insect Disease Vectors

Awards / Honors:

2008  National Academy of Sciences, Elected Member
2002 Fellow, AAAS ( American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Editor-in-Chief, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pergamon/Elsevier Science
Editorial Board, Annual Review of Entomology, Annual Reviews
Associate Editor, Encyclopedia of Hormones, Academic Press
World Health Organization Advisory Committee
Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty Award
Recognition Award in Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology; Entomological Society of America
NIH Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section, Panel Member
NIH Special Review Committee, Tropical Disease Research Units (Centers)
Organizer, Keystone Symposia "The Genetic Manipulation of Insects"

Research Summary:

Mosquitoes are effective disease vectors because adult females require vertebrate blood for egg development.  Research focus of my laboratory is on studying molecular mechanisms linking blood feeding with the egg maturation.  We have discovered that the evolutionary conserved signal transduction pathway - target of Rapamycin (TOR) -  is utilized by mosquitoes to indicate the presence of blood in their guts to activate egg development after a blood feeding.  The steroid hormone gene regulatory cascade represents a second pathway activated by a blood meal. Both gene regulatory pathways are being studied by RNA interference and genomics.  Through the tools of modern technology we are bringing the laboratory discoveries to explain molecularly ecological data of mosquito needs for multiple blood feedings that markedly increase spread of disease.

Another focus of my laboratory is mosquito immunity. A reverse-genetics approach utilizing a transgenic technique permits to study contribution of different organs into overall immunity. Using this approach, we have developed mosquito strains with altered tissue-specific, gain-off-function and loss-off-function major systemic immune pathways.  These strains are being applied for infection and genomics in order to elucidate how pathogens of major human diseases, transmitted by mosquitoes, interact with their mosquito hosts.

Related Press Releases:

Selected Publications:

List of publications from PubMed

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Genomics Information

Institute of Integrative Genome Biology
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7177
E-mail: Aurelia Espinoza, Managing Director