Unlike female mosquitoes, which must drink blood in order to produce eggs, male mosquitoes do not bite people and thus cannot transmit pathogens to us. In collaboration with Dr. Zhijian Tu at Virginia Tech, my lab helped identify the genetic switch that controls whether a mosquito will be a male or female. Together, we proposed several potential ways this switch could be leveraged for sustained control of mosquito vectors. A major step in this direction came in 2020, when we confirmed that this switch is sufficient to generate fully fertile males from genetic females. Current work in my lab focuses on developing transgenic strains that express this switch conditionally, so that they may be reared as females or males depending on their diet or rearing conditions, an essential next step in developing a product that could be used in SIT or similar genetic approaches. In addition to a dominant sex factor, my lab is pursuing other methods of introducing sex bias or distorting sex ratios involving the selective editing of genes important in mosquito flight. In particular, we found that Ae. aegypti encodes both actin and myosin genes that are critical for female flight, but not males.