Anna Cohuet's main research interests include the natural populations of malaria vectors and their interactions with parasites. Her academic training has provided her with a background on microbiology, parasitology, and population genetics. Her Ph.D. studies focused on the population structure of malaria vectors and gave her the opportunity to learn about entomology, population genetics, and field work in Africa. During her postdoctoral training, in F.C. Kafatos’ Group at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, she developed a research on the diversity and molecular evolution of the immune system in the main malaria vector. Cohuet also transferred the technology of gene silencing in mosquitoes (RNAi) to malaria endemic countries with the aim of transferring knowledge from laboratory model systems (murine malaria model) to epidemiologically relevant natural malaria system. This study revealed major differences between the model and the natural system and highlighted the interest of bridging lab technologies and natural populations in the field. She has been recruited by Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, France) in 2005. Cohuet's work focuses on A. gambiae immune response to P. falciparum infection and the genetic and environmental determinants of vector competence/capacity. An ongoing effort in her group is to account for the natural diversity of A. gambiae-malaria parasite associations and to perform experiments in conditions that reflect nature as much as possible. She is currently based at the IRSS in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where she is developing research projects on transmission-blocking vaccines, the fitness costs of infection, and on the relationships among insecticide resistance, mosquito life-history traits, and vector competence. In order to develop her projects, Cohuet developed facilities for conducting direct membrane feeding assays to experimentally infect mosquitoes by field isolates of P. falciparum.
Biography Updated on 22 October 2012