Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute’s BioQuest Academy is a two-week summer program for local teens interested in science and infectious disease research.  This year, BioQuest invited the ISB high school interns into their learning lab to hear about cutting-edge malaria research and complete a mosquito dissection.

Our first activity at Seattle Biomed was hearing a talk given by Alexis Kaushansky, a postdoctoral scientist in Stefan Kappe’s lab who is conducting malaria research.  By applying existing cancer drugs to malaria treatment, Dr. Kaushansky hopes to help develop new approaches to this disease while minimizing drug resistance.  

Alexis also explained that malaria researchers routinely perform dissections of mosquitos, as they carry the malaria parasite and are home to part of the pathogen’s life cycle.  Dr. Kaushansky, with the help of BioQuest scientist and Project Manager Marissa Vignali and the academy’s director Theresa Britschgi, showed us how to remove the mosquitos’ gut sacs and salivary glands.  It was exciting for us to explore this dissection process that is central to current malaria research.  Thank you to Seattle BioMed, BioQuest Academy, and all the teachers and scientists there for welcoming us into your lab!