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Shirley Luckhart

Shirley Luckhart

Professor; Co-Director of Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem


Life Science South 262



Mailing Address

Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter MS 3051
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3051

  • Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1995
  • M.S., Auburn University, 1990
  • B.S., University of Florida, 1986

  • Regulation of malaria parasite development in the mosquito host — fundamental cell signaling pathways, innate defenses, biology of the blood feeding interface and metabolic regulation of sporogony.
  • Innate immunity to malaria parasite development in the mammalian host — mechanisms of altered intestinal barrier during parasite infection, regulation of innate responses in the liver and spleen to parasite infection, effects of transmission blocking compounds on disease and transmission.
  • Effects of co-infection on malaria parasite development and transmission — HIV-malaria (Kenya), Salmonella-malaria (laboratory studies).
  • Efforts to integrate teaching, research and outreach across plant, animal and human diseases — University of Idaho Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem.

Luckhart is an expert in arthropod-borne infectious diseases. Her major focus is malaria, including innate immunity in the mosquito and mammalian host and interventions to block both disease and transmission.

  • Pietri JE, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Song G, Pietri E, Potts R, Cheung KW, Walker G, Riehle MA, Starcevich H, Giulivi C, Lewis EE, Luckhart S. Two insulin-like peptides differentially regulate malaria parasite infection in the mosquito through effects on intermediary metabolism. Biochem J. 2016 473(20):3487-3503. PubMed PMID: 27496548.
  • Pakpour N, Cheung KW, Luckhart S. Enhanced transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes in a murine model of type 2 diabetes. Malar J. 2016 15:231. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1277-7. PubMed PMID: 27102766; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4839141.
  • Glennon EK, Adams LG, Hicks DR, Dehesh K, Luckhart S. Supplementation with abscisic acid reduces malaria disease severity and parasite transmission. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 94(6):1266-75. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0904. PubMed PMID: 27001761; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4889743.
  • Potts RA, Tiffany CM, Pakpour N, Lokken KL, Tiffany CR, Cheung K, Tsolis RM, Luckhart S. Mast cells and histamine alter intestinal permeability during malaria parasite infection. Immunobiology. 2016 221(3):468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2015.11.003. PubMed PMID: 26626201; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4724463.
  • Wang B, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Drexler A, Glennon EK, Surachetpong W, Cheung K, Aguirre A, Klyver JM, Lewis EE, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Giulivi C, Luckhart S. Anopheles stephensi p38 MAPK signaling regulates innate immunity and bioenergetics during Plasmodium falciparum infection. Parasit Vectors. 2015 8:424. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-1016-x. PubMed PMID: 26283222; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4539710

  • Career Excellence Award in Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology, Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America, 2017.
  • UC Davis Award for Excellence in Service to Graduate Students, UC Davis Graduate Student Association, 2016.
  • Fellow, American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2014.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, The Consortium for Women and Research, UC Davis, 2012.
  • Top health invention for 2010, Time Magazine, for collaborative work with University of Arizona on the "malaria-proof mosquito" (Corby-Harris and Drexler et al. 2010, PLoS Pathogens 6(7):e1001003).
  • Justin Morrill Award for Contributions to Graduate Education in Entomology, Virginia Tech, 2004.
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, United States Army, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 1995-1998.
  • John Henry Comstock Award for Outstanding Ph.D. in Entomology, Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America, 1995.


Department of Biological Sciences

Physical Address:
Life Sciences South 252

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3051
Moscow, ID 83844-3051

Phone: 208-885-6280

Fax: 208-885-7905


Web: Department of Biological Sciences