Kenneth Olson

Director, AIDL Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology

About Kenneth

Dr. Olson is Professor of Virology and an internationally recognized leader in mosquito transgenics. As a member of the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (CVID), the major research goals of the Olson laboratory include identifying molecular strategies for interfering with the replication of human pathogens in mosquitoes. By using recombinant mosquito-borne Sindbis viruses to transduce mosquitoes with pathogen-derived RNAs and proteins, the Olson lab has been able to stop transmission of the pathogen in transgenic mosquitoes. Other important goals are to identify components of the RNAi pathway in mosquitoes and to characterize important arthropod-borne virus-mosquito interactions. Dr. Olson also conducts research associated with alphavirus-induced pathogenesis in mouse models and alphavirus-based gene expression in mosquitoes and mice.


MS, Colorado State University, 1984PhD, Colorado State University, 1990BS, North Carolina State University, 1974


Olson, K.E. and Blair C.D. (2011). Flavivirus-vector Interactions in “Molecular Virology and Control of Flaviviruses. Novartis/ Book Chapter. Invited Review. Manuscript submitted 8/18/2010 and is currently in review/editing process.Hess, A.M., Prasad, A., Ptitsyn, A., Ebel, G.D., Olson, K.E., Barbacioru, C., Monighetti, C. and Campbell, C.L. (2011). Small RNA profiling of Dengue virus-mosquito interactions implicates the PIWI RNA pathway in antiviral defense. BMC Microbiology, SubmittedBrackney, D.E., Scott, J.C, Wilusz, J., Olson, K.E., Blair, C.D. and Ebel, G.D. (2010). C6/36 Aedes albopictus cells have a dysfunctional antiviral RNA interference response. PLoS NTD. 4(10): e856. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000856.Mossel, E., Phillips, A., Sanchez-Vargas, I., Foy B. and Olson, K. (2010). Alphavirus Transducing System: Tools for Visualizing Infection in Mosquito Vectors. J Vis Exp 2010(45):e2363. Mathur, G., Sanchez-Vargas, I., Alvarez, D., Olson K.E., Marinotti, O., and James, A.A. (2010). Transgene-mediated suppression of dengue viruses in the salivary glands of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Insect Molecular Biology. Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20738425. Eric Calvo, E., Sanchez-Vargas, I., Favreau, A.J., Barbian, K.D., Pham, V.M., Olson, K.E. and Ribeiro, J.M.C. (2010). The salivary gland transcriptome of the West Nile mosquito vector, Culex tarsalis, with characterization of protein family possibly acquired by horizontal transfer. BMC Genomics. 11:51.Bonizzoni M., Dunn W.A., Campbell C.L., Olson K.E., Dimon M.T., Marinotti O., and James, A.A. (2011). RNA-seq analyses of blood-induced changes in gene expression in the mosquito vector species Aedes aegypti. BMC Genomics.Khoo, C.C.H., Piper, J., Sanchez-Vargas, I., Olson, K.E., and Franz, A.W.E (2010). The RNAi pathway affects midgut infection- and escape barriers for Sindbis virus in Aedes aegypti. BMC-Microbiology. 10:130-141.Brackney, D.E., Zamora, J., Isoe, J., Black, W.C.4th, Foy, B.D., Miesfeld, R.L. and Olson, K.E. (2010). Expression profiling and comparative analysis of seven novel midgut serine proteases from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. J. Insect Physiology. 56:736-744.Logue, C.H., Phillips, A.T., Mossel, E.C., Ledermann, J.P., Welte, T., Dow, S.W., Olson, K.E. and Powers, A.M. (2010). Cationic liposome-DNA complexes (CLDC) protect outbred mice from lethal Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) challenge. Antiviral Research 87(2):195-203.Scott, J.C., Brackney, D.E., Campbell, C.L., Bondu-Hawkins, V., Hjelle, B.L., Ebel, G.D., Olson, K.E. and Blair, C.D. (2010). Comparison of Dengue Virus Type 2-Specific Small RNAs from RNA Interference-Competent and –Incompetent Mosquito Cells. PLoS NTD. 4(10): e848 Doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.000848. Eric Calvo, E., Sanchez-Vargas, I., Favreau, A.J., Barbian, K.D., Pham,V.M., Olson, K.E. and Ribeiro, J.M.C. (2010). The salivary gland transcriptome of the Eastern tree hole mosquito, Ochlerotatus triseriatus. J. Medical Entomology. 47:376-386.