Biointeractions and Crop Protection
Sofia is interested in the insect GABA- and glutamate-gated chloride channels, which are the major inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors of the brain. They are targeted by a diverse range of chemical classes, including cyclodienes, phenylpyrazoles, isoxazolines, meta-diamides (GABA-Rs) and macrocyclic lactones (Glu-Rs). Insecticide and acaricide resistance is an ever increasing problem for effective pest control and often arises due to the selection of simple point mutations in these targets that disrupt the highly selective binding of these pesticides to the protein. Sofia is undertaking a comparative analysis of the functionality of known and novel resistance mutations in these targets, and is assessing this by expression of GABA-R in Xenopus laevis oocytes and analyses of the modified receptors by two-electrode voltage clamp methods. The efficacy of ligand binding is being evaluated in this system in the context of pesticide selectivity and resistance. Furthermore, Sofia is currently conducting in-vivo studies of established and novel mutations of the GABA-R in transgenic D. melanogaster.
- New opportunities to investigate insecticide and acaricide ion channel targets through their differential interactions with novel chemical agonists
- 2014 - Bachelor (Hons) of Genetics, University of Liverpool, UK
MEASURES OF ESTEEM
- 2016- STEM ambassador
- 2016- Social secretary of the RSSC