Professor, Co-Director of Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem
Life Sciences South, Room 262
Department of Biological Sciences
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3051
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051
Luckhart is an expert in arthropod-borne infectious diseases. Her major focus is malaria, including innate immunity in the mosquito and mammalian host and interventions to block both disease and transmission.
Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1995
M.S., Auburn University, 1990
B.S., University of Florida, 1986
- Regulation of malaria parasite development in the mosquito host — fundamental cell signaling pathways, innate defenses, biology of the bloodfeeding interface and metabolic regulation of sporogony.
- Innate immunity to malaria parasite development in the mammalian host — mechanisms of altered intestinal barrier during parasite infection, regulation of innate responses in the liver and spleen to parasite infection, effects of transmission blocking compounds on disease and transmission.
- Effects of co-infection on malaria parasite development and transmission — HIV-malaria (Kenya), Salmonella-malaria (laboratory studies).
- Efforts to integrate teaching, research and outreach across plant, animal and human diseases — University of Idaho Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem.
- Pietri JE, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Song G, Pietri E, Potts R, Cheung KW, Walker G, Riehle MA, Starcevich H, Giulivi C, Lewis EE, Luckhart S. Two insulin-like peptides differentially regulate malaria parasite infection in the mosquito through effects on intermediary metabolism. Biochem J. 2016 473(20):3487-3503. PubMed PMID: 27496548.
- Pakpour N, Cheung KW, Luckhart S. Enhanced transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes in a murine model of type 2 diabetes. Malar J. 2016 15:231. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1277-7. PubMed PMID: 27102766; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4839141.
- Glennon EK, Adams LG, Hicks DR, Dehesh K, Luckhart S. Supplementation with abscisic acid reduces malaria disease severity and parasite transmission. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 94(6):1266-75. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0904. PubMed PMID: 27001761; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4889743.
- Potts RA, Tiffany CM, Pakpour N, Lokken KL, Tiffany CR, Cheung K, Tsolis RM, Luckhart S. Mast cells and histamine alter intestinal permeability during malaria parasite infection. Immunobiology. 2016 221(3):468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2015.11.003. PubMed PMID: 26626201; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4724463.
- Wang B, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Drexler A, Glennon EK, Surachetpong W, Cheung K, Aguirre A, Klyver JM, Lewis EE, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Giulivi C, Luckhart S. Anopheles stephensi p38 MAPK signaling regulates innate immunity and bioenergetics during Plasmodium falciparum infection. Parasit Vectors. 2015 8:424. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-1016-x. PubMed PMID: 26283222; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4539710.
- Career Excellence Award in Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology, Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, 2017.
- UC Davis Award for Excellence in Service to Graduate Students, UC Davis Graduate Student Association, 2016.
- Fellow, American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2014.
- Outstanding Mentor Award, The Consortium for Women and Research, UC Davis, 2012.
- Top health invention for 2010, Time Magazine, for collaborative work with University of Arizona on the "malaria-proof mosquito" (Corby-Harris and Drexler et al. 2010, PLoS Pathogens 6(7):e1001003).
- Justin Morrill Award for Contributions to Graduate Education in Entomology, Virginia Tech, 2004.
- National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, United States Army, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 1995-1998.
- John Henry Comstock Award for Outstanding Ph.D. in Entomology, Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America, 1995.
Shirley Luckhart, professor of entomology, plant pathology and nematology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and professor of biological sciences in the College of Science is an expert in arthropod-borne infectious diseases. Her background training includes natural resource conservation, entomology, biochemistry, microbiology, parasitology and innate immunity. Luckhart’s work for the past 20 plus years has focused on malaria, a disease that adversely affects poor and underdeveloped countries throughout the tropics. In particular, her lab has studied murine and non-human primate malaria parasite development and transmission, transmission of the human parasite Plasmodium falciparum using cultured parasites and P. falciparum transmission under field conditions in endemic countries. She is particularly interested in innate immunity of host-parasite interactions in the mosquito and mammalian host and developing interventions to block both disease and transmission.