My research is centered on the understanding of the biochemical and molecular basis of insect midgut physiology and interactions of the midgut with host plants and microbial pathogens. The research objectives primarily cover two aspects. The first is focused on the biochemistry and molecular physiology of the insect midgut. This major research focus aims at the understanding of important physiological and defensive mechanisms in the midgut and identifying novel target sites for insect control. The second is to apply the fundamental knowledge obtained from the basic studies to development of insect control strategies. My current research projects are focused on the identification and functional studies of midgut genes and their protein products from a lepidopteran, Trichoplusia ni, by taking EST (expressed sequence tag) sequencing and bioinformatic approaches and using biochemical and molecular techniques. Particularly, I am interested in the midgut genes and their products that play important roles in metabolism of and adaptation to plant chemicals, in interaction with microbial pathogens and in resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins. The long term objectives of my researches include elucidation of defense and resistance mechanisms of insects against insecticidal chemicals and microbial pathogens, identification of new insect target sites (mechanisms) and development of novel strategies for insect control with the knowledge obtained from my basic studies.