Leslie Birgit Vosshall (born July 5, 1965) is an American neurobiologist and currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator and the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor of Neurogenetics and Behavior at The Rockefeller University. In 2022 she was appointed Chief Scientific Officer and vice president of HHMI. She is also the director of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute at The Rockefeller University.[1] Vosshall, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is known for her contributions to the field of olfaction, particularly for the discovery and subsequent characterization of the insect olfactory receptor family, and the genetic basis of chemosensory behavior in mosquitoes.[2] She has also extended her research into the study of human olfaction, revealing parts of human genetic olfactory architecture, and finding variations in odorant receptors that determine individuals’ abilities to detect odors. [3]

Leslie B. Vosshall
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Leslie Vosshall in 2010
Born (1965-07-05) July 5, 1965 (age 58)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Alma materColumbia College of Columbia University
Known forinsect olfaction
Scientific career
InstitutionsThe Rockefeller University
Doctoral advisorMichael W. Young
Other academic advisorsRichard Axel

Early life edit

Leslie Vosshall was born in Lausanne, Switzerland where she spent most of her early childhood. Vosshall moved to New Jersey when she was 8 years old. She spent summers from age 17 to 19 working in the laboratory of her uncle, Philip Dunham, with Gerald Weissmann at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole. Vosshall said this experience was "an incredible introduction to the practice of science."[4]

Education edit

Vosshall received her B.A. in biochemistry[5] from Columbia University in 1987 and her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1993. She returned to Columbia for a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of future Nobel laureate Richard Axel from 1993-1997. She then worked in the position of Associate Research Scientist in Dr. Axel's laboratory from 1997-2000. Vosshall was offered the position of Assistant Professor at The Rockefeller University in 2000, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006.[1] In April 2010, she was granted tenure and is currently the Robin Chemers Neustein Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior.[6] She served as associate director of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute from 2015-2016 and was promoted to director in 2016.[1]

Research edit

Vosshall’s laboratory studies three organisms: fruit flies, mosquitoes and humans, to understand the genetic and molecular underpinnings, as well as behavioral mechanisms, involved in olfaction and feeding behavior.[7] In addition, to find the genes that make the mosquito species Aedes aegypti prefer humans, Vosshall compares genes that drive host-seeking and blood-seeking behaviors in several different mosquito subspecies.[8] Vosshall’s and her associates’ research on Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for transmitting yellow fever,[8] dengue, and Zika,[9] found that it has a particular odor-detecting gene (AaegOr4) that is highly attuned to sulcatone, a compound predominant in human odor.[8][10] Research from Vosshall’s lab demonstrated that a chemical transferred from the male of the species during sex plays a key role in shaping the female’s sexual proclivities.[11][12] In addition, Vosshall and her associates discovered ORCO, a mosquito co-receptor responsible for preference for humans over non-human animals and sensitivity to insect-repellent DEET.[13][14]

Awards and honors edit

Key papers edit

  • Vosshall LB, Amrein H, Morozov PS, Rzhetsky A, Axel R (March 1999). "A spatial map of olfactory receptor expression in the Drosophila antenna". Cell. 96 (5): 725–36. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80582-6. PMID 10089887. S2CID 9216020.
  • Vosshall LB, Wong AM, Axel R (July 2000). "An olfactory sensory map in the fly brain". Cell. 102 (2): 147–59. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)00021-0. PMID 10943836. S2CID 17573876.
  • DeGennaro M, McBride CS, Seeholzer L, Nakagawa T, Dennis EJ, Goldman C, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Vosshall LB (29 May 2013). "orco mutant mosquitoes lose strong preference for humans and are not repelled by volatile DEET". Nature. 498 (7455): 487–491. Bibcode:2013Natur.498..487D. doi:10.1038/nature12206. PMC 3696029. PMID 23719379.
  • Larsson MC, Domingos AI, Jones WD, Chiappe ME, Amrein H, Vosshall LB (September 2 2004). "Or83b Encodes a Broadly Expressed Odorant Receptor Essential for Drosophila Olfaction". Neuron. 43 (5): 703–714. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2004.08.019. ISSN 0896-6273

Other selected publications edit

  • McBride, C.S. et al. Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor. Nature 515, 222–227 (2014).[10]
  • Bushdid, C. et al. Humans can discriminate more than 1 trillion olfactory stimuli. Science 343, 1370–1372 (2014).[22]
  • McMeniman, C.J. et al. Multimodal Integration of Carbon Dioxide and Other Sensory Cues Drives Mosquito Attraction to Humans. Cell 156,1060-1071 (2014).[23]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Rockefeller University » Scientists & Research". www.rockefeller.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  2. ^ Prashant, Nair (29 June 2020). "QnAs with Leslie B. Vosshall". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117 (28): 16100–16103. Bibcode:2020PNAS..11716100N. doi:10.1073/pnas.2011073117. PMC 7368263. PMID 32601194.
  3. ^ "Making the Paper: Leslie Vosshall and Hiroaki Matsunami". Nature. 449: xiii. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  4. ^ Vosshall, Leslie B. (2012). "Leslie B. Vosshall". Current Biology. 22 (18): R782–R783. Bibcode:2012CBio...22.R782V. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.07.016. PMID 23193546.
  5. ^ "Leslie B. Vosshall". Our Scientists. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  6. ^ Bonner, Joseph (2010-05-17). "The Rockefeller University: Leslie Vosshall promoted to professor". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  7. ^ "Leslie B. Vosshall". Current Biology. 22 (28): PR782–R783. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Researchers Find Gene that Makes Mosquitoes Prefer Humans over Animals". Entomology Today. Entomological Society of America. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  9. ^ Lambert, Jonathon (25 April 2019). "How Do Mosquitoes Taste DEET? Hint: It's Not Their Mouthparts". Kuow.org. NPR. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  10. ^ a b McBride, Carolyn S.; Baier, Felix; Omondi, Aman B.; Spitzer, Sarabeth A.; Lutomiah, Joel; Sang, Rosemary; Ignell, Rickard; Vosshall, Leslie B. (2014-11-13). "Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor". Nature. 515 (7526): 222–227. Bibcode:2014Natur.515..222M. doi:10.1038/nature13964. ISSN 0028-0836. PMC 4286346. PMID 25391959.
  11. ^ Fenz-Rockefeller, Katherine (9 January 2018). "Mosquito sex swap leaves females 'loyal'". Futurity. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Mosquito sex protein could stem disease spread". Sky News. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  13. ^ Lambert, Jonathon (25 April 2019). "How Do Mosquitoes Taste DEET? Hint: It's Not Their Mouthparts". Kuow.org. NPR. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  14. ^ DeGennaro, Matthew; McBride, Carolyn S.; Seeholzer, Laura; Nakagawa, Takao; Dennis, Emily J.; Goldman, Chloe; Jasinskiene, Nijole; James, Anthony A.; Vosshall, Leslie B. (2013-06-27). "orco mutant mosquitoes lose strong preference for humans and are not repelled by volatile DEET". Nature. 498 (7455): 487–491. Bibcode:2013Natur.498..487D. doi:10.1038/nature12206. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 3696029. PMID 23719379.
  15. ^ "Leslie B. Vosshall". Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  16. ^ Burke, Adrienne (November 2007). "The New York Academy of Sciences - Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists". Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  17. ^ Bonner, Joseph (2008-06-02). "The Rockefeller University: Two Rockefeller faculty become new HHMI investigators". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  18. ^ "Howard Hughes Medical Institute - HHMI News: HHMI Selects 56 of the Nation's Top Scientists". 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  19. ^ "New York University - NYU School of Medicine Presents Three Biomedical Researchers 2010 Dart/NYU Biotechnology Awards for Role of Pure Science". 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  20. ^ "Leslie Vosshall and Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Sciences". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  21. ^ "National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New Members". Oct 18, 2021. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  22. ^ Bushdid, C.; Magnasco, M. O.; Vosshall, L. B.; Keller, A. (2014-03-21). "Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli". Science. 343 (6177): 1370–1372. Bibcode:2014Sci...343.1370B. doi:10.1126/science.1249168. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 4483192. PMID 24653035.
  23. ^ McMeniman, Conor J.; Corfas, Román A.; Matthews, Benjamin J.; Ritchie, Scott A.; Vosshall, Leslie B. (2014-02-27). "Multimodal Integration of Carbon Dioxide and Other Sensory Cues Drives Mosquito Attraction to Humans". Cell. 156 (5): 1060–1071. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.044. ISSN 0092-8674. PMC 4007582. PMID 24581501.

External links edit