WOOSTER — A College of Wooster professor has received a $325,000 National Institutes of Health grant to study a protein in the seminal fluid of male mosquitoes.

Laura Sirot, associate professor of biology, hopes to be able to identify potential targets for mosquito control. The adipokinetic hormone (AKH) protein serves as an important regulator of physiology and behavior in insects.

“With the tremendous global impact of mosquito-borne diseases on human health, new approaches for mosquito control are desperately needed," Sirot said in a prepared statement. "The diseases caused by these mosquito-transmitted viruses are estimated to affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide and to kill tens of thousands annually.

“Although there has been progress on vaccine development, there are no cures for these diseases. Therefore, control efforts focused on preventing bites and meeting the demand for alternative, novel insecticides, instead of existing insecticides that mosquitoes may have become resistant to, has spurred this study.”