Molly Duman Scheel Adjunct Professor

Vector Mosquito Developmental Genetics
Molly Duman Scheel

Research Interests:

Vector mosquitoes inflict more human suffering than any other organism—and kill more than one million people each year. Despite the devastating impact of these insects on human society, we know very little about mosquito developmental biology. In recent years, our laboratory began a large-scale effort to develop the dengue vector Aedes aegypti as an emerging model for the study of mosquito developmental genetics. This research, which has primarily focused on mosquito central and sensory nervous system development, has included the first-ever targeted genetic knockdown studies of mosquito neural development. We recently piloted the use of siRNA nanoparticle-mediated gene targeting in A. aegypti larvae. Our laboratory has successfully used this technique to disrupt mosquito brain, olfactory, and visual development. We are also exploring the development of mosquito sexual dimorphism, particularly within the context of the developing nervous system. Other current projects include global discovery of gene regulatory elements that can be used to modify gene expression in multiple mosquito species, as well as the discovery of species-specific mosquito larvicides. Our laboratory’s in-depth analysis of mosquito developmental biology aims to promote the elucidation of tools to target mosquitoes before they are disease-transmitting adults.



  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Biological Science 2013-Present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, IUSM 2013-Present
  • Assistant Professor 2007-2013
  • Ph.D. University of Chicago 1999
  • B.S. University of Notre Dame 1994


Recent Papers:

  • Tomchaney, M., Mysore, K., Sun, L., Li, P., Emrich, S.J., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M. 2014. Examination of the genetic basis for sexual dimorphism in the Aedes aegypti (dengue vector mosquito) pupal brain. Biology of Sex Differences 5:10.
  • Mysore, K., Andrews, E., Li, P., Duman-Scheel, M. 2014. Chitosan/siRNA nanoparticle targeting demonstrates a requirement for single-minded during larval and pupal olfactory system development of the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. BMC Dev Biol. 14:9. PMID: 24552425. PMCID: In process.
  • Mysore, K., Flannery, E., Leming, M.T., Tomchaney, M., Shi, L., Sun, L., O'Tousa, J.E., Severson, D.W., Duman-Scheel, M. 2014. Role of semphorin-1a in the developing visual system of the disease vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. Dev Dynamics. 243(11):1457-69. PMID: 25045063. PMCID: In process.
  • Mysore, K., Flannery, E.M., Tomchaney, M., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M. 2013. Disruption of Aedes aegypti olfactory system development through chitosan/siRNA nanoparticle targeting of semaphorin-1a. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(5):e2215. PMID: 23696908. PMCID: PMC3656119.
  • Sarro, J., Andrews, A., Longhua, S., Behura, S., Tan, J.C., Zeng, E., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M. 2013. A requirement for commissureless2 function during dipteran insect nerve cord development. Dev Dynamics 242(12):1466-77. PMID: 24026811. PMCID: PMC3894064.
  • Clemons, A., Haugen, M., Flannery, E., Tomchaney, M., Kast, K., Jacowski, C., Le, C., Mori, A., Simanton Holland, W., Sarro, J., Severson, D., and Duman-Scheel, M. 2010. Aedes aegypti: an emerging model for vector mosquito development. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. 2010(10):pdb.emo141. PMID: 20889691. PMCID: PMC2975269. (Published in conjunction with five methods articles, CSHP 2010(10):pdb.prot5507-prot5511).