Professor, Co-Director of Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem
Life Sciences South, Room 262
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
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 blood feeding 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.
- Céspedes N, Donnelly E, Garrison S, Haapanen L, Van De Water J, Luckhart S. Nonlethal Plasmodium yoelii Infection drives complex patterns of Th2-type host immunity and mast cell-dependent bacteremia. Infect Immun. 2020 Nov 16;88(12):e00427-20. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00427-20. PMID: 32958528 Free PMC article.
- Taylor DM, Haney RS, Luckhart S. Aquatic exposure to abscisic acid transstadially enhances Anopheles stephensi resistance to malaria parasite infection. Genes (Basel). 2020 Nov 24;11(12):1393. doi: 10.3390/genes11121393. PMID: 33255333 Free PMC article.
- Torrevillas BK, Garrison SM, McKeeken AJ, Patel D, Van Leuven JT, Dizon NI, Rivas KI, Hathaway NJ, Bailey JA, Waitumbi JN, Kifude CM, Oyieko J, Stewart VA, Luckhart S. Plasmodium falciparum DHFR and DHPS mutations are associated with HIV-1 co-Infection and a novel DHPS mutation I504T is Identified in western Kenya. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Nov 26;10:600112. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.600112. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33324580 Free PMC article.
- Lee Y, Souvannaseng L, Collier TC, Main BJ, Norris LC, Fofana A, Traoré SF, Cornel AJ, Luckhart S, Lanzaro GC. Evidence for divergent selection on immune genes between the African malaria vectors, Anopheles coluzzii and A. gambiae.
Insects. 2020 Dec 18;11(12):893. doi: 10.3390/insects11120893. PMID: 33352887 Free PMC article.
- Luckhart S, Riehle MA. Midgut mitochondrial function as a gatekeeper for malaria parasite infection and development in the mosquito host. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Dec 11;10:593159. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.593159. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33363053 Free PMC article. Review.
- Oringanje C, Delacruz LR, Han Y, Luckhart S, Riehle MA. Overexpression of activated AMPK in the Anopheles stephensi midgut impacts mosquito metabolism, reproduction and Plasmodium resistance. Genes (Basel). 2021 Jan 19;12(1):119. doi: 10.3390/genes12010119. PMID: 33478058 Free PMC article.Taylor DM, Olds CL, Haney RS, Torrevillas BK, Luckhart S. Comprehensive and durable modulation of growth, development, lifespan and fecundity in Anopheles stephensi following larval treatment with the stress signaling molecule and novel antimalarial abscisic acid. Front. Microbiol., 17 January 2020 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.03024
- Ahlers LRH, Trammell CE, Carrell GF, Mackinnon S, Torrevillas BK, Chow CY, Luckhart S, Goodman AG. Insulin potentiates JAK/STAT signaling to broadly inhibit flavivirus replication in insect vectors. Cell Rep. 2019 Nov 12;29(7):1946-1960.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.029. PubMed PMID: 31722209; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6871768.
- Hun LV, Luckhart S, Riehle MA. Increased Akt signaling in the fat body of Anopheles stephensi extends lifespan and increases lifetime fecundity through modulation of insulin-like peptides. J Insect Physiol. 2019 Aug 22;118:103932. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2019.103932. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31445957.
- Souvannaseng L, Hun LV, Baker H, Klyver JM, Wang B, Pakpour N, Bridgewater JM, Napoli E, Giulivi C, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Inhibition of JNK signaling in the Asian malaria vector Anopheles stephensi extends mosquito longevity and improves resistance to Plasmodium falciparum infection. PLoS Pathog. 2018 Nov 29;14(11):e1007418. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007418. eCollection 2018 Nov. PubMed PMID: 30496310; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6264519.
- Glennon EKK, Megawati D, Torrevillas BK, Ssewanyana I, Huang L, Aweeka F, Greenhouse B, Adams LG, Luckhart S. Elevated plasma abscisic acid is associated with asymptomatic falciparum malaria and with IgG-/caspase-1-dependent immunity in Plasmodium yoelii-infected mice. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 11;8(1):8896. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27073-1. PubMed PMID: 29891920; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5995817.
- Olds CL, Glennon EKK, Luckhart S. Abscisic acid: new perspectives on an ancient universal stress signaling molecule. Microbes Infect. 2018 Oct - Nov;20(9-10):484-492. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 29408537.
- Founders’ Memorial Award, Entomological Society of America, 2018
- University of Idaho, Alumni Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2019
- 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.