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UCL Ear Institute

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Dr Marta Andres Miguel

Dr Marta Andres Miguel

Marie Curie fellow to UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

The Ear Institute

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Apr 2017

Research summary

Research in our lab investigates the molecular pathways that underlie the auditory perception in disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Audition is essential for mosquitoes as mating partners are detected acoustically by the sound produced by the wing-beats while mosquitoes fly in swarms. We are interested in understanding how the brain modulates the mosquito auditory perception through an efferent system that releases different neurotransmitters that affect the mosquito auditory physiology. We also aim at understanding how the action of these neurotransmitters relates to mosquito swarming behaviour modulation.

Because hearing and swarming are fundamental for mosquito mating, we ambition to contribute with our findings to improve current mosquito control tools by providing novel molecular and sensory targets to fight mosquito borne diseases.

Biography

I started her research career as a PhD student investigating the development of sensory organs Drosophila at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid (Spain) with Inmaculada Canal and Laura Torroja. I then joined the lab of Martin Goepfert at the University of Goettingen (Germany) as a postdoc and was captivated by the complexity of mosquito ears. These fantastic sensory organs allowed me to merge two passions, neuroscience and the control of infectious diseases. To improve my knowledge on the applied science of mosquito control, I completed a MSc in Infectious Disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom) and worked as a research fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Robert Koch Institute. In 2017, I joined the lab of Joerg Albert at University College London (United Kingdom) as a Marie Curie fellow to investigate the physiology of the malaria mosquito ear. In 2019, I have been awarded an UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, a fantastic opportunity to develop my independent research career and study how biogenic amines modulate the mosquito auditory perception.

Publications