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Discovery of natural odors could help develop mosquito repellents
Date:8/26/2009

quitoes at bay for longer periods of time, benefiting people in areas where mosquito-transmitted diseases are prevalent."

Ray received his doctoral degree in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Yale University in 2005. He joined UC Riverside in 2007. His awards include Yale University's John Spangler Nicholas Prize and the Polak Young Investigator Award from the Association of Chemoreception Sciences.

Originally from India, Ray contracted malaria during childhood. When his wife caught dengue fever on a trip to India a few years ago, he decided to intensify his research on mosquito-borne diseases.

Stephanie Turner, the first author of the research paper, received her bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UC Santa Cruz, where she performed research as an undergraduate. She worked for two years in biotechnology before joining the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at UCR.

The research related to this project was conceived, initiated and carried out at UCR over the past one year, and was supported by UCR startup funds. Ray has plans to launch a startup company in the near future to take his basic science research on the odorants from the lab to applications that directly benefit people.

Ray and Turner already have begun work in the lab on mosquitoes that cause malaria and dengue fever. They also are setting up collaborations with a number of scientists from around the globe to do research on various mosquito species and tsetse flies.

The UCR Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a patent application on the discovery.


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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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