Name: Alex Samuel Kiarie Gaithuma
Affiliation: Functional Genomics, NRCPD
Position: Specially appointed Postdoctoral researcher
Term: October 2020-March 2021
Host researcher: Assistant Prof. Rika Shirafuji
Circumstances of application:
The position was advertised on the NRCPD website as well as JREC-IN portal. I applied through the consultation and recommendation of my supervisor Associate Prof. Junya Yamagishi from Hokkaido University.
Research activity in NRCPD:
I was appointed to this position to work on tick transcriptome analysis for six months. The study has been ongoing in the laboratory and there was data that needed to be analyzed to identify genes of interest for further investigation (functional genomic analysis). We have prepared a manuscript of the data for publication and identified a list of genes that need to be studied to identify targets for tick vaccines and to understand the biology of H. longicornis tick reproduction, feeding and metabolism and symbiont relationship with bacteria such as Coxiella.
I will be moving to Texas A&M University for a postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Veterinary pathobiology under Prof. Albert Mulenga. I will be studying tick biology and vaccine development. This position in NRCPD has introduced me to tick biology and will be looking forward to many collaboration studies in future.