Professor, Department of Entomology
Our research is focused on the evolutionary genomics of insect-pathogen interactions, emphasizing such questions as how natural selection operates on host immune systems and why individuals vary in susceptibility or resistance to infection. In my group, we like to think of the host as an assemblage of interacting physiological processes, where the immune system is embedded in the overall physiological context of the host. This motivates us to consider effects of abiotic environment on immune defense and means that genetic determination of variation in resistance may lie in genes outside of the canonical immune system. This thinking also extends directly to the evolution and mechanism of life history constraints. Importantly, the host is itself the "environment" in which an infecting pathogen lives, and differences in host physiological state or abiotic environment can alter microbial behavior and therefore ultimate outcomes of infection. Our overarching goal is to consider host and pathogen as interacting components of a single system, shaped by the environment. We primarily use bacterial infection in Drosophila melanogaster as an experimental model to deconstruct elements of the unified system, studying components in tractable modular pieces. Understanding the dynamics of unified host-pathogen-environment systems is crucial because these dynamics determine the ecology and evolution of disease in natural settings with consequence at higher biological scales.
- B.S., University of California, Davis
- Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Lazzaro, B.P., M. Zasloff, and J. Rolff. 92020) Antimicrobial peptides: application informed by evolution. Science 368:eaau5480.
Troha K*, J.H. Im*, J. Revah, B.P. Lazzaro† and N. Buchon†. (2018) Comparative transcriptomics reveals CrebA as a novel regulator of infection tolerance in D. melanogaster. PLoS Pathogens 14:e1006847.
* denotes equal contribution † denotes equal contribution
Duneau, D.F., J.-B. Ferdy, J. Revah, H. Kondolf, G. Ortiz, B.P. Lazzaro* and N. Buchon*. (2017) Stochastic variation in the initial phase of bacterial infection predicts the probability of survival in D. melanogaster. eLife 6:e28298.
Schwenke, R.A. and B.P. Lazzaro. (2017) Juvenile hormone mediates resistance to infection in female Drosophila melanogaster. Current Biology 27:596-601.
Howick, V.M. and B.P. Lazzaro. (2017) The genetic architecture of defense as resistance to and tolerance of bacterial infection in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular Ecology 26:1533-1546.
Unckless, R.L.*, V.M. Howick*, and B.P. Lazzaro. (2016) Convergent balancing selection on an antimicrobial peptide in Drosophila. Current Biology 26:257-262
* denotes equal contribution
Crawford, J.E., M.M. Riehle, K. Markianos, E. Bischoff, W.M. Guelbeogo, A. Gneme, N. Sagnon, K.D. Vernick, R. Nielsen, and B.P. Lazzaro. (2016) Evolution of GOUNDRY, a cryptic subgroup of Anopheles gambiae s.l., and its impact on susceptibility to Plasmodium infection. Molecular Ecology 25:1494-1510.
Unckless, R.L., S.M. Rottschaefer and B.P. Lazzaro. (2015) The complex contributions of genetics and nutrition to immunity in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics 11(3): e1005030.
Crawford, J.E., M.M. Riehle, W.M. Guelbeogo, A. Gneme, N. Sagnon, K.D. Vernick, R. Nielsen, and B.P. Lazzaro. (2015) Reticulate speciation and barriers to introgression in the Anopheles gambiae species complex. Genome Biology and Evolution 7:3116-3131.
Khalil, S., E. Jacobson, M.C. Chambers and B.P. Lazzaro. (2015) Systemic bacterial infection and immune defense phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Visualized Experiments 99:e52613.
- ENTOM 9900: Doctoral Level Thesis Research
- BIOG 4990: Independent Undergraduate Research in Biology
- Entom 4700 / BioEE 4800: Ecological Genetics
3134 Comstock Hall
bplazzaro [at] cornell.edu