Heverton Dutra, Ph.D.

Title
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department
Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Institution
Harvard University
Address
665 Huntington Ave
Building 1, Room 103
City, State, Zip
Boston, MA 02115
Country
United States
Phone
(617) 432-1773
E-mail
hevertondutra[at]gmail.com
Website
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/catteruccia-lab/
Research Field
Immunology and Microbiology
Award Year
2017
Country Of Origin
Brazil
Mentor Name
Flaminia Catteruccia, Ph.D.

Research

The Catteruccia lab explores ways to combat malaria. Mosquitoes are vectors for a variety of viruses and parasites capable of causing diseases, from Zika to malaria. But some mosquitoes are infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia, which appears to reduce the insects’ ability to harbor disease-causing agents. Because mosquitoes are becoming increasingly resistant to insecticides, I will investigate the use of this bacterium as a novel biological alternative to curb malaria transmission. I will study how infection with Wolbachia affects the fitness, survival, and fertility of Anopheles mosquitoes—as well as their ability to harbor and transmit the parasite that causes malaria. I will then analyze how changes in temperature alter Wolbachia’s effects on the mosquito—results that could expand our ability to use bacteria as a biological tool in the fight against malaria in regions with varied climates.