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Alexander J McMenamin


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I am a Postdoctoral researcher working with Vincent Ricigliano on the intersection between honey bee nutrition and antiviral immunity. I completed my PhD at Montana State University in August 2021 where I studied new and novel antiviral immune genes and pathways. I am bringing that experience to the Baton Rouge Honey  Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology lab to address a few key overarching research areas:


  1. Investigation of the physiological impacts of sustainable algae-augmented pollen substitutes on honey bees from the individual to the colony level. This includes integration of of small scale laboratory studies with colony level studies to understand how algae-based feeds improve colony performance and individual bee health and response to viral infection.
  2. The development of technology that increases throughput to allow discovery of novel therapeutics to mitigate hone bee colony losses due to disease. This includes integration of ultra-high throughput cell culture techniques with high-throughput disease state cage assays to establish a pipeline from the dish to the field that enables rational discovery and development of bee-saving therapeutics.
  3. The continued investigation of how honey bees defend themselves from virus infection at the molecular level. In the long-term, this means integration of classic virological techniques, with modern “-omics” techniques to describe the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee antiviral immunity as well as identifying functional variation in honey bee antiviral immune genes.

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