Neil F. Lobo Research Associate Professor

Medical Entomology
Neil F. Lobo

Research Interests:

Neil Lobo’s lab focuses on mosquito-borne disease transmission, with studies both in the lab as well as in the field. He has worked on research related to the entomology and epidemiology of diseases like malaria and Dengue, including transgenics, genomics, vector species compositions, vector bionomics, control strategies, intervention evaluation, vector population biology, and, human behavior and epidemiology spanning laboratory to field conditions. Research is directed towards collecting evidence that both elucidates the understanding of, and, directs decision making, strategies and policy towards protecting the world’s most vulnerable people from these diseases.

Diseases like malaria are transmitted by species of Anopheles mosquitoes that vary markedly in biological attributes - including when, where and how they blood feed, and, responses to insecticides. Such variation in behavior impacts the effectiveness of interventions such as Insecticide Treated bed nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS), Spatial Repellants (SRs) and larval habitat treatments or modifications. The correct identification of local mosquito species and their behaviors, contribution to disease transmission, how these behaviors overlap with intervention functionality, as well as human behavior, is vital for strategic selection of interventions to reduce disease burden. The range of local drivers of malaria transmission combined with the diversity of Anopheles species capable of transmitting malaria increases the complexity around malaria transmission and prevention. A particular focus is drivers of residual transmission – transmission of the disease occurring outside the scope of protection of present interventions. 

The Lobo lab research supports several international ministry of health malaria programs in making evidence-driven decisions on vector control strategy and intervention selection, to include operational approaches and priority indicators to expand understanding of local vector bionomics (e.g. indoor versus outdoor biting), identify gaps in protection with current vector control interventions (e.g. low coverage of LLINs, insecticide resistance, outdoor biting), and investigate drivers of transmission (e.g. rainfall, human movement, increased vulnerability and/or receptivity) in combination with epidemiological and other meta-data. In turn, this data will help programs tailor solutions, reduce vector populations and human-vector contact, and drive down transmission using a minimum capacity-based dataset towards maximum impact.

Over the last 20 years, his lab has conducted research in many countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Solomon Islands, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mali, Namibia, Mozambique, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia. In short, his lab studies malaria transmission dynamics from a global perspective – investigating mosquito vector species, their bionomics, the effects of both human and vector behaviors on disease transmission and intervention effectiveness - all towards evidence-based decisions to protect vulnerable humans. “Everyone deserves to lead a healthy and productive life” (Bill Gates) - the Lobo Lab conducts research, training, and service with academic, NGO, and country ministry of health programs towards advancing health standards for everyone – especially people those disproportionately impacted by preventable diseases.   

 

Biography:

  • Research Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2011-Present
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2004-2011
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Indiana Center for Insect Genomics, Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases (CGHID), University of Notre Dame, IN 2000-2004
  • Ph.D. Molecular Biology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA. 1995-2000
  • B.Sc. St. Josephs’ Arts and Science College, Bangalore, India. 1990-1994

 

Recent Papers:

  • Sutanto I, Kosasih A, Elyazar IRF, Simanjuntak DR, Larasati TA, Dahlan MS, Wahid I, Mueller I, Koepfli C, Kusriastuti R, Surya A, Laihad FJ, Hawley WA, Collins FH, Baird JK, Lobo NF.  Negligible Impact of Mass Screening and Treatment on Meso-endemic Malaria Transmission at West Timor in Eastern Indonesia: A Cluster-Randomised Trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 22. 
  • St Laurent B, Sukowati S, Burton TA, Bretz D, Zio M, Firman S, Sumardi, Sudibyo H, Safitri A, Suwito, Asih PB, Kosasih S, Shinta, Hawley WA, Burkot TR, Collins FH, Syafruddin D, Lobo NF.  Comparative evaluation of anopheline sampling methods in three localities in Indonesia. Malar J. 2018 Jan 8;17(1):13. 
  • St Laurent B, Burton TA, Zubaidah S, Miller HC, Asih PB, Baharuddin A, Kosasih S, Shinta, Firman S, Hawley WA, Burkot TR, Syafruddin D, Sukowati S, Collins FH, Lobo NF. Host attraction and biting behaviour of Anopheles mosquitoes in South Halmahera, Indonesia. Malar J. 2017 Aug 2;16(1):310. 
  • Echeverry DF, Deason NA, Makuru V, Davidson J, Xiao H, Niedbalski J, Yu X, Stevenson JC, Bugoro H, Aparaimo A, Reuben H, Cooper R, Burkot TR, Russell TL, Collins FH, Lobo NF. Fast and robust single PCR for Plasmodium sporozoite detection in mosquitoes using the cytochrome oxidase I gene. Malar J. 2017 May 31;16(1):230. 
  • Lobo NF, Achee NL, Greico J, Collins FH. Modern Vector Control. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2017 
  •  Maynard AJ, Ambrose L, Cooper RD, Chow WK, Davis JB, Muzari MO, van den Hurk AF, Hall-Mendelin S, Hasty JM, Burkot TR, Bangs MJ, Reimer LJ, Butafa C, Lobo NF, Syafruddin D, Maung Maung YN, Ahmad R, Beebe NW. Tiger on the prowl: Invasion history and spatio-temporal genetic structure of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894) in the Indo-Pacific. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Apr 14;11(4). 
  • Maia MF, Kreppel K, Mbeyela E, Roman D, Mayagaya V, Lobo NF, Ross A, Moore SJ. A crossover study to evaluate the diversion of malaria vectors in a community with incomplete coverage of spatial repellents in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. Parasit Vectors. 2016 Aug 15;9:451. 
  • The epidemiology of residual Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission and infection burden in an African city with high coverage of multiple vector control measures. Msellemu D, Namango HI, Mwakalinga VM, Ntamatungiro AJ, Mlacha Y, Mtema ZJ, Kiware S, Lobo NF, Majambere S, Dongus S, Drakeley CJ, Govella NJ, Chaki PP, Killeen GF. Malar J. 2016 May 23;15(1):288. 
  • Behaviour and molecular identification of Anopheles malaria vectors in Jayapura district, Papua province,Indonesia. St Laurent B, Supratman S, Asih PB, Bretz D, Mueller J, Miller HC, Baharuddin A, Shinta, Surya A, Ngai M, Laihad F, Syafruddin D, Hawley WA, Collins FH, Lobo NF. Malar J. 2016 Apr 8;15(1):192. 
  • Larval habitats of the Anopheles farauti and Anopheles lungae complexes in the Solomon Islands. Russell TL, Burkot TR, Bugoro H, Apairamo A, Beebe NW, Chow WK, Cooper RD, Collins FH, Lobo NF. Malar J. 2016 Mar 15;15(1):164.