Dr Claire Donald
- Lecturer (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)
Claire joined the University of Glasgow as a PhD student in 2011 in the lab of Professor Alain Kohl at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research. Her research focused on the role of RNA interference in controlling arbovirus replication in mosquito-derived cell lines and the development of molecular tools to improve our understanding of this antiviral response in both vector and non-vector species. Her first post-doctoral position involved in vivo studies of mosquito- arbovirus interactions with a focus on gene function at the tissue level to understand the importance of tissue-specific antiviral strategies in Aedes aegypti. Claire then moved on to working with Zika virus and it’s interactions with host innate immune responses in order to better understand viral pathogenesis in mammals.
Claire also enjoys engaging the public with science and developing interactive STEM activities.
Many mosquito species are anautogenous and require a blood meal from a vertebrate host in order to obtain essential nutrients necessary for egg production. This means that they are able to act as vectors for the spread important pathogens, such as arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses), as well as bacteria or parasites which can cause disease in both humans and animals. Infection within the mosquito is not fully understood, although recent advances have improved our understanding of antiviral immune responses such as RNA Interference and Jak/STAT signalling.
I am interested in the interplays between the circadian rhythm, mosquito immunity and arbovirus replication. There is an increasing understanding that biological rhythms within mosquitoes are important factors for global human and animal health. My work focuses on Aedes aegypti as a major vector for many important arboviruses to improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in controlling infections within mosquitoes.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Investigating the role of the circadian rhythm in modulating arbovirus infection in mosquitoes.
The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
2020 - 2021
MSc Food Security, Acting Deputy Coordinator