On April 29th, 2014 Dr. Richard Martin presented the Toxicology Research Excellence Award to Aaron Gross for research he performed while he was a Ph. D. student in Dr. Joel Coats' lab.
Since the beginning of the project in April 2012, our lab has screened a wide array of plant essential oils for baseline toxicity and in combination with various synthetic pyrethroids against Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, and Anopheles gambiae, the African malaria mosquito. To date, we have identified essential oil candidates that enhance the toxicity of various synthetic pyrethroids, and some that cause greater enhancement than the most commonly used commercial synergist in synthetic pyrethroid formulations, piperonyl butoxide (PBO). Future directions for this project include whether or not these essential oil candidates enhance different synthetic pyrethroids to different degrees, isolating components from the most promising oils which impart the ability to enhance synthetic pyrethroids, mode/mechanism of action studies to determine how these essential oils/components are causing this enhancement, and whether or not these essential oils/components can enhance the efficacy of synthetic pyrethroids against insecticide-resistant mosquito populations.