Kafatos:Waterhouse, Robert

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Leucine-rich repeat protein complex activates mosquito complement in defence against <i>Plasmodium</i> parasites>br>
Leucine-rich repeat protein complex activates mosquito complement in defence against <i>Plasmodium</i> parasites<br>
Science, 2009, PMID:[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=19264986 19264986]
Science, 2009, PMID:[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=19264986 19264986]

Revision as of 08:03, 16 March 2009

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Rob Waterhouse

Division of Cell & Molecular Biology
South Kensington Campus, SAF London, SW72AZ UK


I am completing my PhD studies in the Kafatos/Christophides Lab at Imperial College, London.

Research Interests

  • Insect Innate Immunity
  • Comparative Insect Immunogenomics
  • Evolution of Genes and Genomes

One of the major public health concerns of the new millennium centres on diseases transmitted to humans by blood-feeding insects. Sequencing of the Anopheles gambiae genome (Holt et al, 2002) drove an unprecedented acceleration in malaria research, particularly in the field of insect innate immunity, together with a growing appreciation of the importance of mosquito-parasite interactions. The second mosquito genome, Aedes aegypti (Nene et al, 2007), has enabled a comparative phylogenomic analysis of the insect immune repertoire among these two mosquitoes and the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Analysis of immune signalling pathways and response modules revealed both conservative and rapidly evolving features associated with different functional gene categories and particular aspects of immune reactions (Waterhouse et al, 2007). These dynamics reflect in part the continuous readjustment between accommodation and rejection of pathogens and suggest how innate immunity may have evolved. The sequencing of these and other insect genomes enables informative comparative analyses with the integration of data sources, and the employment of a range of methodologies to build and test hypotheses, while focussing on innate immunity of disease vectors as a system of particular biomedical relevance.


  • 1998-1999: International Baccalaureate, Waterford KaMhlaba, United World College of Southern Africa, Swaziland.
  • 2000-2004: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (MBioc), New College, Oxford.
  • 2004-2005: Masters in Bioinformatics, Imperial College, London.
  • 2005-present: Wellcome Trust PhD with the Kafatos/Christophides Lab, Imperial College, London.


Visit my webpage to find out more about my research.
I collaborate extensively with members of the Computational Evolutionary Genomics Group CEGG in Geneva.
Part of my PhD has involved building a database of genes and gene families implicated in insect innate immunity: ImmunoDB.
Visit our SCITIZEN article - bringing Science to the People!
Read our Imperial College news item - Revealed: mosquito genes that could be controlling the spread of killer viruses.
Read our Imperial College news item - How mosquitoes could teach us a trick in the fight against malaria.



Evolutionary dynamics of immune-related genes and pathways in disease-vector mosquitoes
Science, 2007, PMID:17588928
The Aedes aegypti genome: a comparative perspective
Insect Mol Biol, 2008, PMID:18237279
The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum
Nature, 2008, PMID:18362917
Leucine-rich repeat protein complex activates mosquito complement in defence against Plasmodium parasites
Science, 2009, PMID:19264986


Quantification of insect genome divergence
Trends Genet, 2007, PMID:17097187
Quantification of ortholog losses in insects and vertebrates
Genome Biol, 2007, PMID:18021399
OrthoDB: the hierarchical catalog of eukaryotic orthologs
Nucleic Acids Res, 2008, PMID:17947323
miROrtho: computational survey of microRNA genes
Nucleic Acids Res, 2009, PMID:18927110
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