Dr. Nathan T. Mortimer
Research in the Cellular Immunology Lab is focused on understanding the cellular immune response, and the tricks that pathogens and parasites use to overcome it. For this research we utilize the Drosophila melanogaster-parasitoid wasp host-parasite system. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster provides an excellent model to gain insight into the immune responses of humans and other insects including mosquitoes, which transmit human disease, and diverse bee species, which are important agricultural pollinators.
We are broadly interested in understanding host-parasite interactions at both the organismal and molecular levels. We take an integrative approach,
using genetics, cell biology, ecology, and bioinformatics techniques to investigate the fruit fly-parasitoid wasp interaction. Projects in the lab include:
- Molecular genetics of Drosophila melanogaster cellular immunity
- Parasitoid wasp virulence mechanisms
- Genetics of host autoimmunity
- Comparative genomics of insect immune responses