Luis M Mendez

  • Research Assistant

Areas of Expertise

  • Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Orientia, Host-symbiont interactions, Cif Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology

Luis received his undergrad degree in Biological Sciences from Indian River State College, where his senior capstone project sought to characterize giant viruses that infect eukaryotic green algae. During his undergrad, he had the greatest opportunity to work with UDSA scientists on Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation as an alternative to methyl bromide for weed and disease management. Luis then went on to become the lab manager for the Forest Health Dynamics Lab at Auburn University where he was in charge of running the diagnostics clinic and overseeing projects related to pine health. While at Auburn University, Luis conducted master's thesis work on the effect of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility factor(cif)-like proteins from Orientia tsutsugamushi on arthropod reproduction. His current interests are: pinpointing which host proteins interact with Wolbachia cifA/B complex and modulate Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI), Wolbachia WO phage biology, and studying the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that underlie CI.