Major Areas of Research
- Role of vector saliva in blood feeding by arthropods, where a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds and new targets for vaccination against vector-borne diseases have been uncovered
- Discovery and determination of mode of action of novel anti-clotting, anti-platelet, immunomodulatory, and vasodilatory agents
- Expression of novel proteins and peptides with known and unknown function
- Development of tools for transcriptome annotation
Research in the Vector Biology Section explores the biochemical and pharmacological diversity found in the salivary glands of blood feeding insects and ticks. Molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches are used in our research. Recently, we have used vector salivary gland transcriptome analysis to discover new and interesting compounds and for that reason have developed tools for bioinformatic analysis.
In each of the major areas of research, we seek discoveries that improve our basic knowledge of the evolution of the blood feeding behavior, at the same time generating novel compounds that can be of pharmacological use or developed as vaccine targets. Inquiries about predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships as well as Ph.D. studentships in the National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program are welcome.
The figure shows the structure of Ixolaris, an anti-clotting protein derived from the tickIxodes scapularis (also pictured). This protein has anti-clotting and anti-metastatic properties.
Dr. Ribeiro received his M.D. from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. from the Biophysics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was an assistant and associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor at the department of entomology in the University of Arizona before joining NIAID in 1996. His work focuses on the role of vector saliva in blood feeding by arthropods, where a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds and new targets for vaccination against vector-borne diseases have been uncovered. Dr. Ribeiro has served for many years in the Tropical Diseases Research Program of the World Health Organization and as editor and reviewer for several journals.
Chagas AC, Ramirez JL, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Ribeiro JM, Marinotti O, Calvo E. Collagen-binding protein, Aegyptin, regulates probing time and blood feeding success in the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 13;111(19):6946-51.
Chagas AC, Oliveira F, Debrabant A, Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JM, Calvo E. Lundep, a sand fly salivary endonuclease increases Leishmania parasite survival in neutrophils and inhibits XIIa contact activation in human plasma. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Feb 6;10(2):e1003923.
Ribeiro JM, Genta FA, Sorgine MH, Logullo R, Mesquita RD, Paiva-Silva GO, Majerowicz D, Medeiros M, Koerich L, Terra WR, Ferreira C, Pimentel AC, Bisch PM, Leite DC, Diniz MM, da S G V Junior JL, Da Silva ML, Araujo RN, Gandara AC, Brosson S, Salmon D, Bousbata S, González-Caballero N, Silber AM, Alves-Bezerra M, Gondim KC, Silva-Neto MA, Atella GC, Araujo H, Dias FA, Polycarpo C, Vionette-Amaral RJ, Fampa P, Melo AC, Tanaka AS, Balczun C, Oliveira JH, Gonçalves RL, Lazoski C, Rivera-Pomar R, Diambra L, Schaub GA, Garcia ES, Azambuja P, Braz GR, Oliveira PL. An insight into the transcriptome of the digestive tract of the bloodsucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Jan 9;8(1):e2594.
Schwarz A, von Reumont BM, Erhart J, Chagas AC, Ribeiro JM, Kotsyfakis M. De novo Ixodes ricinus salivary gland transcriptome analysis using two next-generation sequencing methodologies. FASEB J. 2013 Dec;27(12):4745-56.
Alvarenga PH, Xu X, Oliveira F, Chagas AC, Nascimento CR, Francischetti IM, Juliano MA, Juliano L, Scharfstein J, Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JM, Andersen JF. Novel family of insect salivary inhibitors blocks contact pathway activation by binding to polyphosphate, heparin, and dextran sulfate. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Dec;33(12):2759-70.
Ma D, Mizurini DM, Assumpção TC, Li Y, Qi Y, Kotsyfakis M, Ribeiro JM, Monteiro RQ, Francischetti IM. Desmolaris, a novel factor XIa anticoagulant from the salivary gland of the vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) inhibits inflammation and thrombosis in vivo. Blood. 2013 Dec 12;122(25):4094-106.
Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JM, Barral A, Netto M, Brodskyn C, Gomes R, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Lutzomyia longipalpis polypeptides and methods of use. United States patent US 8,628,780. 14 Jan 2014.
Fischer LB, Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JM, Kamhawi S, inventors; Merial Limited, The United States as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignees. Leishmania vaccine using sand fly salivary immunogen. United States patent US 8,603,808. 10 Dec 2013.
Calvo E, Marinotti O, Ribeiro JM, Francischetti IM, inventors; The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, Regents of the University of California, assignees. Aegyptin and uses thereof. United States patent US 8,383,589. 26 Feb 2013.
Aliberti J, Anderson J, Golding H, Sher A, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Protozoan derived compositions and methods of use therof. United States patent US 7,510,715. 31 Mar 2009.
Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JMC, Barral A, Netto M, Brodskyn C, Gomes R, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Cruz, assignees. Lutzomyia longipalpis polypeptides and methods of use. United States patent US 7,485,306. 3 Feb 2009.
Valenzuela JG, Belkaid Y, Kamhawi S, Sacks D, Ribeiro JM, inventors; The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Anti-arthropod vector vaccines method of selecting and uses thereof. United States patent US 7,388,089. 17 Jun 2008.