Vosshall Pradel Banner

Vosshall Pradel Banner

Leslie B. Vosshall, The Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, received the 2020 Pradel Research Award.

Vosshall has made vital contributions to our understanding of insect olfactory systems, with important implications for protecting human health.

In her early work, Vosshall’s molecular biology studies of the model insect Drosophila resulted in several important discoveries. She identified the insect odorant receptors and showed that they function as odor-gated ion channels. She also defined two chemoreceptors that together detect carbon dioxide and a second major family of insect chemosensory receptors related to the ionotropic glutamate receptors.

She took this chemoreception research in new directions with her lab’s studies of the non-model mosquito, Aedes aegypti, a known vector for yellow fever, dengue, and Zika virus. Expanding upon her previous discoveries, the lab focuses on identifying genes that govern the perception of odors, carbon dioxide, heat and other factors. This research, which also includes targeted CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, aims to identify the neurobiology behind why the mosquitoes choose their hosts and how to repel them, discoveries that would help protect humans from these often deadly diseases. 

The Pradel Research Award is presented annually to recognize mid-career neuroscientists whose work is making major contributions to our understanding of the nervous system. The award is presented with a $50,000 research award to designate to an institution of the recipient's choice to support neuroscience research.


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