Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Jose Ramirez

Research Entomologist

 /ARSUserFiles/52344/Ramirez Pic.jpg


Phone: (309) 681-6195

1815 N University

Peoria, IL 61604



Dr. Ramirez’s research interests include the study of arthropod-borne pathogen systems particularly, the identification of factors that influence pathogen infection and the elucidation of novel mechanisms to control vector populations and prevent pathogen transmission. Current efforts in the laboratory builds upon the integration of knowledge gathered from the study of the multipartite organismal interactions (host-pathogen-symbiotic microbe) to develop new microbe-based biopesticides for use against arthropod vectors of human and plant pathogens.



Biological control of mosquitoes and other vector-borne arthropods, arbovirology, insect immunity and pathology, entomopathogenic microbes and host-pathogen interactions, arthropod-borne pathogen systems



2011       Ph.D., Molecular Microbiology and Immunology                    Johns Hopkins University

2006       M.Sc., Entomology                                                             University of California Riverside

2002       B.Sc., Zoology                                                                   Idaho State University



2016- Present    Research Entomologist, Crop Bioprotection Research Unit, USDA, ARS, Peoria, IL

2011 – 2015      Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Lab. Of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD




American Society for Microbiology          

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Entomological Society of America

Society for Invertebrate Pathology



2015       NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence 2015

              National Institutes of Health


2015       Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund Scholarship

               Scholarship to attend and present at the meeting on The Arthropod Vector: The Controller of Transmission.


2015       Gordon Research Conference Fellowship.

               Fellowship to attend and present at the Tropical Infectious Diseases Conference Gordon Research Conferences


2012       Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities (INRO) Fellowship

              NIAID/ National Institutes of Health


2011       The Richard and Mary Finkelstein Student Travel Grant

              111th General Meeting, American Society for Microbiology.


2010       Young Researcher participant in the 60th Interdisciplinary Meeting of Nobel Laureates at Lindau.

              Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Lindau, Germany.


2010       Robert Bosch- ESOF Fellowship to attend the Euroscience Open Forum 2010. Torino, Italy.

              Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF).


2010       Best Poster Presentation. 1st Place. Delta Omega Scientific Poster Competition.

              Delta Omega Society. Bloomberg School of Public Health. Johns Hopkins University.


2009       Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards For Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31).

               National Institute of Health / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

2008       Global Health Field Research Award

               The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Support to conduct dengue virus-related field research in Panama.


2008      ASM - Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship

              American Society for Microbiology


 2007       The A. Ralph and Sylvia E. Barr Fellowship in Vector Biology

               Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


2006       Diversity and Health Disparities Predoctoral Fellow.

              The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


2005       Best M.S. Poster Presentation. 12th Annual Student Seminar Day

              Department of Entomology. University of California Riverside


2003-05 University of California Riverside College Fellowship Award. Department of Entomology, UC Riverside.


2002      Outstanding Undergraduate Biology Research Presentation. Undergraduate Research Symposium

              Department of Biological Sciences. Idaho State University


Invited Conference Lectures and Departmental Seminars


2016       Invited Oral presentation: “Mosquito, Pathogens, and Symbiotic microbes: Multipartite Molecular Interactions Shaping Vector Competence,” Illinois State University, Bloomington IL

2016       Invited Lecture: “The interplay between mosquitoes, viruses and humans: the case of Zika and other arboviral diseases, ” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Bradley University, Peoria, IL

2016       Invited Oral presentation: “The Mosquito Battlefield: Understanding the Mosquito’s Molecular Weaponry against Pathogens,” Tyson Summer Seminar Series. Tyson Research Center, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

2016       Invited Oral presentation: “Vector-Borne Diseases: New and Re-emerging infectious diseases affecting Public Health,” “International Health at a local level,” Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Chapter #48 - Bloomington, IL

2015       Oral presentation: “Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Innate Immune Priming in An. gambiae mosquitoes.” Keystone Symposia: The Arthropod Vector: the Controller of Transmission. Taos, New Mexico. 

2015       Oral presentation: “Lipocalin / lipoxin complex mediates immune priming in An. gambiae mosquitoes,” Gordon Research Symposium: Tropical Infectious Diseases. Galveston, Texas

2015       Invited Oral presentation: “The parasite-vector war: molecules mediating immune priming in mosquitoes,” American Society for Microbiology and George Mason University. Fairfax, Virginia

2015       Poster presentation: “Molecular interactions modulating immune priming in An. gambiae mosquitoes,” Gordon Research Conference: Tropical Infectious Diseases. Galveston, Texas 

2015       Oral presentation: “Molecular mechanisms of Immune Priming in An. gambiae mosquitoes: Lipocalin/lipoxin driving innate immune priming in mosquitoes, “ Malaria and Vector Biology Interest Group Seminar. NIAID, NIH.

2014       Invited Oral presentation: “Primed for war: innate immune priming defines the outcome of the mosquito-malaria parasite fight,” Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities Program, INRO 2014. NIAID, NIH. Bethesda, Maryland. 

2014   Oral presentation: “Molecular mechanisms of Immune Priming in An. gambiae mosquitoes,” Malaria and Vector Biology Interest Group Seminar. NIAID, NIH. 

2014   Poster Presentation: "Insights into the molecular mechanisms of immune priming in An. Gambiae mosquitoes." 2014 NIH Research Festival . NIH Bethesda, Maryland. 

2013       Poster presentation: Molecular Mechanism of Innate Immune Memory in An. gambiae mosquitoes,” American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 62nd Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. 

2013       Oral presentation: “Molecular mechanisms of Innate Immune Memory in An. gambiae mosquitoes,” Malaria and Vector Biology Interest Group Seminar. NIAID, NIH.

 2013       Oral presentation: “Immune pathways and hemocyte differentiation in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions,” Intramural NIAID Research Opportunities Program. INRO 2013. NIAID, NIH. Bethesda, Maryland

2012       Poster presentation: “Hemocyte differentiation in Innate Immune Memory under the regulation of Immune signaling pathways,” US-Brazil Vector Symposium. Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana

 2011       Young Investigator/Student Oral Presentation: “Mosquito-Microbiome Molecular Interactions Define Dengue Virus Infection Dynamics,” ASM 111th General Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana

 2010       Poster presentation: “Mosquito-microbiome interactions influencing dengue virus infection,” Jose Luis Ramirez, Jayme A. Souza-Neto and George Dimopoulos. ASM 110th General Meeting, San Diego, California

 2010       Poster presentation:The Toll pathway is a conserved immune defense active against different dengue serotypes and present in multiple Aedes aegypti strains.” Delta Omega Scientific Poster Competition. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 2010       Poster presentation: “Mosquito, dengue virus, bacteria: tripartite interactions determining dengue virus transmission,” Jose Luis Ramirez and George Dimopoulos. Global Health Day, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health.

 2009       Poster presentation:The Toll pathway is a conserved immune defense active against different dengue serotypes and present in multiple Aedes aegypti strains.” Jose Luis Ramirez and George Dimopoulos. 58th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

 2009       Poster presentation: “Implication of the Innate Immune Defense in the anti-dengue defense at the early stages of infection,” Jose Luis Ramirez and George Dimopoulos. ASM 109th General Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2009       Invited Oral presentation: “Mosquito, dengue virus, bacteria: tripartite interactions determining dengue virus transmission,” Jose Luis Ramirez and George Dimopoulos. Gorgas Memorial Institute, Panama City, Panama

2007        Oral presentation: “Dissecting the Aedes aegypti anti-Dengue immune response,” Jose Luis Ramirez, Zhiyong Xi and George Dimopoulos. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 56th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2005A    Poster presentation: “The Effect of Post-Acquisition Hosts on the Presence of Xylella fastidiosa in GWSS Saliva,Jose L. Ramirez, P.T. Lacava, T.M. Perring and T. A. Miller. 2005 Pierce’s Disease Research Symposium, CDFA, San Diego, California

 2005B    Poster presentation: Fate of Xylella fastidiosa and a genetically modified bacterium in the foregut of Homalodisca coagulata fed on citrus and grape host plants,” Jose L. Ramirez and T. A. Miller. 12th Annual Student Seminar Day. Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside

2005C    Oral Presentation: “The Big Sagebrush(Artemisia tridentata): Home of a Rich Arthropod Fauna.”  José L. Ramirez & Nancy Huntly. Great Rift Science Symposium. Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho.

2005D    Oral Presentation: “The Diversity,Abundance, and Trophic Structure of Arthropods on Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) of Craters of the Moon NM and a Nearby Agricultural Region.” José L. Ramirez et al. Great Rift Science Symposium. Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho.

2004A    Poster presentation: “Fitness of a Genetically Modified Symbiont upon Reintroduction to its Host, the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata).” Jose L. Ramirez, B. Bextine, and T. A. Miller. 2004 Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Salt Lake City, Utah.

2004B    Oral Presentationn: “Pathogen and Symbiont Interactions in the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata).” J.L Ramirez and T. A. Miller. 11th Annual Student Seminar Day. Department of Entomology. University of California, Riverside

2002       Poster presentation: “Paternity Analysis of Burying Beetles to Determine Alternative Mating Behaviors.” Jose L. Ramirez, J. McKay, R. Williams, and R. Smith. Undergraduate Research Symposium, ISU. 




Ramirez J.L., Giselle de Almeida Oliveira, Eric Calvo, Jose Ribeiro, Charles Serhan Carolina Barillas-Mury. 2015 “A Mosquito Lipocalin/Eicosanoid Complex Mediates Innate Immune Memory in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes” Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7403 doi:10.1038/ncomms8403


Molina-Cruz A., Canepa G.E., Kamath N., Mu J., Ramphul U., Ramirez J.L., Barillas-Mury C. 2015 “Global Plasmodium falciparum transmission involves pfs47-mediated evasion of Mosquito Immunity.” PNAS 112(49):201520426


Ramirez J.L; Short S M; Bahia AC; Saraiva R G; Dong Y; Kang S; Tripathi A; Mlambo G;Dimopoulos G. 2014 "

Chromobacterium Csp_P Reduces Malaria and Dengue Infection in Vector Mosquitoes and Has

Entomopathogenic and In Vitro Anti-pathogen Activities. PLoS Pathog 10(10): e1004398.

doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004398


Chagas AC, Ramirez JL, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Ribeiro JM, Marinotti O, & Calvo E. 2014 “Collagen-binding protein, Aegyptin, regulates probing time and blood feeding success in the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti”. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci USA. 111(19):6946-51. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404179111


Shuzhen S, Cirimotich C.M., Ramirez J.L., Souza-Neto J.A. and Dimopoulos G. 2014. Dengue Virus-Mosquito Interactions and Molecular methods of Vector Control. In Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. 2nd Edition. Eds D.J. Gubler et al.


Padrón A., Molina-Cruz A, Quinones M, Ribeiro JM, Ramphul U, Rodrigues J, Shen K, Haile A, Ramirez JL, Barillas-Mury C. 2014 “In depth annotation of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito midgut transcriptome”  BMC genomics 07/2014; 15(1):636. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-636


Ramirez JL, Garver LS, Brayner FA, Alves LC, Rodrigues J, Molina-Cruz A and Barillas Mury C. 2014The role of hemocytes in An. gambiae antiplasmodial immunity”. J. Innate. Immun. (DOI:10.1159/000353765).


Sim S., Jupatanakul N., Ramirez JL, Kang S., Romero-Vivas C.M., Mohammed H., Dimopoulos G. 2013. “Transcriptomic profiling of diverse Aedes aegypti strains reveals increased basal-level immune activation in dengue virus-refractory populations and identifies novel virus-vector molecular interactions”. PLoS Neglected Trop Dis. 7(7): e2295. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002295


Ramirez JL, Souza-Neto J, Cosme RT, Rovira J, Ortiz A, Pascale JM and Dimopoulos G. 2012. Reciprocal Tripartite

Interactions between the Aedes aegypti Midgut Microbiota, Innate Immune System and Dengue Virus Influences

Vector Competence PLoS Neglected Trop Dis. 6(3): e1561


Sim S, Ramirez JL, Dimopoulos G. 2012. Dengue Virus Infection of the Aedes aegypti Salivary Gland and

Chemosensory Apparatus Induces Genes that Modulate Infection and Blood-Feeding Behavior. PLoS Pathog 8(3): e1002631.


Cirimotich CM, Ramirez JL and Dimopoulos G. 2011. Native microbiota shape insect vector competence for

human pathogen. Review, Cell Host & Microbe. (Vol. 10, Issue 4, pp. 307-310).


Dong Y., Morton J.C., Ramirez J.L., Souza-Neto J.A., Dimopoulos G. 2011. The entomopathogenic fungus

Beauveria bassiana activate toll and JAK-STAT pathway controlled effector genes and anti-dengue activity in

Aedes aegypti. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2011.11.005


Ramirez JL and Dimopoulos G. 2010.The Toll immune signaling pathway is an important component of the anti-dengue defense repertoire with conserved activity across diverse Ae. aegypti strains and against multiple dengue virus serotypesJ. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 34:6 625-629.

Hughes GL, Ren X, Ramirez JL, Sakamoto JM, Bailey JA, Jedlicka AE and Rasgon JL. 2011 “Wolbachia infections in Anopheles gambiae cells: transcriptomic characterization of a novel host-symbiont interaction.” PLoS Pathogens. 7(2)

Bartholomay LC, Waterhouse RM, Mayhew GF, Campbell CL, Michel K, Zou Z, Ramirez JL, Das S, Alvarez K, Arensburger P, Bryant B, Chapman SB, Dong Y, Erickson SM, Karunaratne SH, Kokoza V, Kodira CD, Pignatelli P, Shin SW, Vanlandingham DL, Atkinson PW, Birren B, Christophides GK, Clem RJ, Hemingway J, Higgs S, Megy K, Ranson H, Zdobnov EM, Raikhel AS, Christensen BM, Dimopoulos G, Muskavitch MA. 2010. “Pathogenomics of Culex quinquefasciatus and meta-analysis of infection responses to diverse pathogens.” Science. 330(6000):88-90.

Ramirez, J.L., L. Garver and G. Dimopoulos 2009. “Challenges and Approaches for Mosquito Targeted Malaria Control”. Current Molecular Medicine. 9:116-130.


Erickson SA, Xi Z, Mayhew GF, Ramirez JL, Aliota MT, Christensen BM, Dimopoulos G  2009. Mosquito Infection Responses to Developing Filarial Worms. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 3(10): e529


Sim S, Ramirez JL, and Dimopoulos G. 2009. Molecular discrimination of mosquito vectors and their pathogens. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics. 9: 757-765


Sessions OM, Barrows, NJ, Souza-Neto JA, Robinson TJ, Hershey CL, Rodgers MA, Ramirez JL, Dimopoulos G, Yang PL, Pearson JL, Garcia-Blanco MA. 2009. “Discovery of Dengue Virus Host Factors in Insects and Humans” Nature. 458:1047-1050.


Zhiyong X., J.L. Ramirez and G. Dimopoulos. 2008. “The Toll pathway controls Dengue infection in Aedes aegypti” .PLoS Pathogens, 4(7)).


Ramirez J. L., T. M. Perring and T. A. Miller. 2008. “Fate of a Genetically Modified Bacterium in the Foregut of Glassy-winged sharpshooter J Econ. Entomol. 101:1519-1525


Ramirez J. L., P.T. Lacava and T. A. Miller. 2008. “Detection of Xylella fastidiosa in saliva of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata)”. Journal of Insect Science. 8:34


Lacava, P.T., J. Parker, F.D. Andreote, F. Dini-Andreote, J.L. Ramirez, and T.A. Miller 2007. “Analysis of bacterial community inhabiting glassy-winged sharpshooter foregut acessed by culture-dependent techniques and PCR-DGGE”. Entomological Research, 37, 261-266.


Dimopoulos G., S. Das, L. Garver, J.L. Ramirez and Z. Xi 2007. “Protocol for dengue infections in mosquitoes (A. Aegypti) and infection phenotype determination. Journal of Visualized Experiments.





Last Modified: 1/20/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page