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Photo: Gregory Lanzaro

Gregory Lanzaro- BS, MS, PhD
Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

2086 Haring Hall
Davis, CA 95616

+1 530 752 5652


Research Focus

Vector biology, population genetics. My overall research interest is in the population genetics of insect vectors of human and animal disease. I have developed a program that pursues knowledge that may be applied to the control of vectorborne diseases but at the same time addresses critical issues in basic evolutionary genetics. An additional goal is the application of cutting edge molecular biological methods to problems at the level of populations. I am pursuing this interest within the context of four major avenues of research: 1) Population genetics of the human malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae in west and central Africa: This work deals with describing the genetic structure of populations, understanding the forces responsible for this structure and how patterns of gene flow influence the distribution of traits critical to understanding and managing malaria transmission. I have been working at field sites in Africa since 1991 and my current program has been supported continuously since 1996 with support in the form of a series of R01 grants from NIH on which I serve as P.I. 2) The biology of pharmacologically active salivary substances in blood-feeding insects: The interaction among vector insects, pathogens and mammalian hosts converge at the site in the host skin at which the insect feeds. We therefore reasoned that if one were interested in exploring the evolution of the relationships among these organisms that vector salivary proteins and the genes that encode them would be a good place to look. Our research model is visceral leishmaniasis in the New World. This is a serious zoonotic disease identified by WHO and the NIH as one of the most important neglected diseases of the developing world. This research has been supported since 1995 by a series of R01 grants from NIH for which I serve as P.I. 3) The population genetics of Lutzomyia longipalpis, the vector of visceral leishmaniasis in Latin America: This work is closely related to our research on salivary proteins. This species is the system we are using for the salivary protein research and much of our work on understanding the biology of salivary proteins is at the population level. This research is supported by NIH grants as described above. 4) Genetics of population of the West Nile virus (WNV) vector, Culex pipiens in California. C. pipiens is the major urban vector of WNV in California. This mosquito exists in the state as a group of closely related species that can not be distinguished based on morphology and are poorly known. We have been working on the development of single nucleotide polymorphisms that can be used to define populations and as an aid to improve our understanding of the population biology of this group. This work was supported from 2003 through 2008 by a U01 grant from NIH for which I served as P.I. and is currently being supported on an NIH T32 grant, on which I also serve as PI.

Specialty Focus



1972 BS Secondary Education, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
1978 MS Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
1986 PhD Entomology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Honors and Awards

2014 Award of Honour/Plenary Speaker, presented by Association of Entomologists, Department of Zoology and Environmental Sciences, Punjabi University
2013 Delegate, Albert Schweitzer Centennial, Libreville, Gabon, Central Africa
2013 Distinguished Service Award, Society for Vector Ecology
2011 President, Society for Vector Ecology
2010 President Elect
2010 Plenary Speaker, Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cell Biology
2010 Keynote Speaker, 10th Annual Symposium, Center for Host-Parasite Interactions, McGill University
2010 Keynote Speaker, 14th Annual Arthromint Meeting, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Ilha Grande, Brazil
2010 Invited Speaker, Biology of Mosquito Vectors Symposium, Johns Hopkins University
2010 2010 Editor's Choice Award by the Entomological Society of America
2009 Elected Vice-President/President Elect, Society for Vector Ecology
2009 Plenary Speaker, 34th Annual Meeting, Human Biology Association
2009 2009 Student Selected Speaker, Department of Entomology, University of Arkansas
2007 Excellence in Research Award, Academic Federation, UC Davis
2007 Plenary Speaker, Annual Meeting, Society of Vector Ecology
2006 Service Award, Entomological Society of America
2005 Rogoff Lectureship, Department of Entomology, Cornell University
2002-2010 Member, External Advisory Panel, Johns Hopkins University Malaria Institute
2000-2006 Faculty, International Biology of Disease Vectors Course
1991-1995 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Molecular Biology of Disease Vectors

Active Research Grants

Co-Principal Investigator, An. gambiae immune signaling gene SNPs and natural P. falciparum infection, Luckhart S (Principal Investigator), NIAID/NIH

Principal Investigator, Ecological and genetic determinants of malaria-transmitting behaviors in the African mosquito An. arabiensis, (Principal Investigator), NIH

Principal Investigator, The influence of A. gambiae molecular form genome introgression on immunity to P. falciparum infection, (Principal Investigator), NIH Diversity Supplement Grant

Most Recent 10 Publications

  • Link Icon 2013 Lee Y, Marsden CD, Norris, LC, Collier TC, Main Bradley, Fofana A, Cornel AJ, Lanzaro GC. Spatiotemporal dynamics of gene flow and hybrid fitness between the M and S forms of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Proc Nat Acad Sci,
  • Link Icon 2013 Marsden CD, Cornel A, Lee Y, Sanford MR, Norris LC, Goodell PB, Nieman CC, Han S, Rodrigues A, Denis J, Ouledi A, Lanzaro GC An analysis of two island groups as potential sites for trials of transgenic mosquitoes for malaria control. Evol Appl,
  • Link Icon 2013 Lee Y, Collier TC, Sanford MR, Marsden CD, Fofana A, Cornel AJ, Lanzaro GC Chromosome inversions, genomic differentiation and speciation in the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. PLoS One,
  • Link Icon 2013 Sanford MR, Ramsay S, Cornel AJ, Marsden CD, Norris LC, Patchoke S, Fondjo E, Lanzaro GC, Lee Y A preliminary investigation of the relationship between water quality and Anopheles gambiae larval habitats in Western Cameroon. Malar J,
  • Link Icon 2012 Trout-Fryxell RT, Neiman CC, Fofana A, Lee Y, Traore SF, Cornel AJ, Luckhart S, Lanzaro GC Differential Plasmodium falciparum infection of Anopheles gambiae s.s. molecular and chromosomal forms in Mali Malar J,
  • Link Icon 2012 Lee Y, Seifert SN, Fornadel CM, Norris DE, Lanzaro GC Single-nucleotide polymorphisms for high-throughput genotyping of Anopheles arabiensis in East and southern Africa. J Med Entomol,
  • Link Icon 2012 Lee Y, Seifert SN, Nieman CC, McAbee RD, Goodell P, Fryxell RT, Lanzaro GC, Cornel AJ High degree of single nucleotide polymorphisms in California Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) sensu lato. J Med Entomol,
  • Link Icon 2012 Demirci B, Lee Y, Lanzaro GC, Alten B Altitudinal genetic and morphometric variation among populations of Culex theileri Theobald (Diptera: Culicidae) from northeastern Turkey. J Vector Ecol,
  • Link Icon 2012 Demirci B, Lee Y, Lanzaro GC, Alten B Identification and characterization of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Culex theileri (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol,
  • Link Icon 2012 Fryxell RT, Nieman CC, Fofana A, Lee Y, TraorĂ© SF, Cornel AJ, Luckhart S, Lanzaro GC Differential Plasmodium falciparum infection of Anopheles gambiae s.s. molecular and chromosomal forms in Mali. Malar J,

Most Recent 5 Book Chapters

2013 Lanzaro GC, Lee Y: Chapter 6. Speciation in Anopheles gambiae - The distribution of genetic polymorphism and patterns of reproductive isolation among natural populations., Manguin S, (ed), Anopheles mosquitoes - New insights into malaria vectors. 173-96.

2011 Dorn P, Noireau F, Krafsur ES, Lanzaro GC, Cornel AJ: Chapter 18: Genetics of major insect vectors, Tibayrenc M, (ed), Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Disease, London / Burlington, MA. .

2005 Lanzaro GC, Nuzhdin S, Tripet F: Tools for monitoring the genetic structure and stability of mosquito populations, , In: Proceedings: Working Group on Strategic Plan to Bridge Laboratory and Field Research In Disease Vector Control 14-16 July 2004, ICIPE, Nairobi, Kenya, The Netherlands. .

2003 Lanzaro, GC, Tripet, F: Gene flow among populations of Anopheles gambiae: A critical review, Takken, W, Scott, TW, (ed), Ecological Aspects for the Application of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 109-132.