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Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2329
Moscow, ID 83844-2329

Danica Wilbanks
208-885-0111

Heather Fisher
208-885-2122

Directions

Shirley Luckhart

Shirley Luckhart

Professor, Co-Director of Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem

Office

Life Sciences South, Room 262

Phone

208-885-1698

Mailing Address

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 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.

  • 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.
  • Glennon EKK, Torrevillas BK, Morrissey SF, Ejercito JM, Luckhart S. Abscisic acid induces a transient shift in signaling that enhances NF-κB-mediated parasite killing in the midgut of Anopheles stephensi without reducing lifespan or fecundity. Parasit Vectors. 2017 Jul 13;10(1):333. doi:
  • 10.1186/s13071-017-2276-4. PubMed PMID: 28705245; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5508651.
    Murdock CC, Luckhart S, Cator LJ. Immunity, host physiology, and behaviour in infected vectors. Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2017 Apr;20:28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 28602233; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5584383.
  • 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.

Contact

Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2329
Moscow, ID 83844-2329

Danica Wilbanks
208-885-0111

Heather Fisher
208-885-2122

Directions