Personal profile

Research interests

Colin Malcolm’s research is primarily on genetics, molecular biology and bioinformatics of disease pathogen carrying mosquitoes in relation to their control. He has worked and published on the following topics:

  • Mosquito transposable elements focused on retroposons, including origin, evolution, mechanisms of spread and survival and potential utility in mosquito control.
  • The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) and related strategies covering field site evaluation vector population dynamics, operational logistics, mass rearing techniques and equipment, genetic sexing, diagnostic tests for post-release monitoring and field trials.
  • Mosquito borne disease risk in the United Kingdom.
  • Insecticide resistance covering genetics and molecular biology, occurrence, passive transportation, cross-resistance, and biochemical and molecular diagnostic tests.
  • DNA based diagnostic tests for mosquito species identification.

His research has included field work and collaborations with laboratories in diverse countries where mosquito borne disease is endemic, most extensively in Sudan, but also including China, India, Nigeria and Guatemala.  

Current research is on a novel transposable element discovered in the Indo-Pakistan malaria vector Anopheles stephensi termed AsM5.  The element shows insertion-site specificity for the transcription start point in core histone genes, which is in marked contrast to random genome insertion shown by its close relatives. AsM5 presents a paradigm for the immortality of a transposable element family and as such is of fundamental scientific interest, but it is also a potential tool for use in insect control strategies based on population replacement.


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