Manu Prakash, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Bioengineering
Institution
Stanford University
Address
E350B, 318 Campus Drive
City, State, Zip
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone
(617) 820-4811
E-mail
manup[at]stanford.edu
Website
http://www.stanford.edu/~manup
Research Field
Bioengineering
Award Year
2013

Research

We are a curiosity driven lab, broadly interested in developing precision measurements tools for biological systems at ecological scales. A simple bite from an insect is the transmission mechanism for many deadly diseases worldwide – including malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and Lyme disease. Very little is known about how populations of numerous insect species and disease-causing parasites interact in their natural habitats due to a lack of measurement techniques. Our current work enables high-throughput field ecology to unravel insect-parasite interactions in field conditions. Combining techniques from engineering and field ecology, we will create microfluidic tools to measure infection rates for West Nile, malaria, and Dengue in mosquito populations in field conditions. We will further develop citizen science approaches for vector identification for mosquitoes. Finally, turning our focus on micro-ecology, we will develop in vivo imaging techniques to track live parasites in mosquito populations. These innovations will not only bring quantitative measurement principles from physics to the study of field parasitology, but also have wide-ranging applications in medical entomology, insecticide resistance, as well as inform government policy via surveillance and protect the public from deadly vector-borne diseases such as malaria.