Scientist Elected Fellow of Entomological Society of America

Sarjeet Gill, a distinguished professor of cell biology and neuroscience, is one of only 10 new fellows elected this year

Sarjeet Gill is a distinguished professor of cell biology and neuroscience and an entomologist at UC Riverside. Photo courtesy of S. Gill, UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Sarjeet Gill, a distinguished professor of cell biology and neuroscience and an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, has been elected a fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines.

Gill is one of only 10 persons elected to this honor this year. All the honorees will be recognized during the annual meeting of the ESA, which will be held in November 2015 in Minneapolis, Minn. Fellows are acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to entomology in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration.

“I truly appreciate ESA’s recognition, not only of my lab’s research but also that of my colleagues,” Gill said. “These collaborative efforts over the years contributed to our success. This recognition also continues to demonstrate UC Riverside’s preeminence in insect science.”

Gill received his doctorate in insecticide toxicology from UC Berkeley and joined the Department of Entomology faculty at UC Riverside in 1983. He helped establish the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, serving as chair of the department and director of the program. Gill is currently the editor of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the premier journal in entomology, and he co-edited the series Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science.

His laboratory has two principal research foci. The first area is to elucidate the mode of action of insecticidal toxins derived from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. These toxins are active against agricultural pests as well as vectors of human diseases. More recently, his work has also included another gram-positive bacteria, Clostridium bifermentans, which is mosquitocidal. The research in Gill’s lab aims to gain a molecular understanding of the toxins involved and how these toxins interact with cellular targets, thereby disrupting ion regulation and lethality. A second area of research focuses on understanding mosquito midgut and Malpighian tubules function (in particular ion and nutrient transport), changes that occur following a blood meal, and how toxins affect these functions.

Gill is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the ESA Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology. He has served on numerous grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He joins 18 current or former researchers at UCR who are fellows of the ESA: Robert L. Metcalf, 1951; Herman T. Spieth, 1952; George P. Georghiou, 1989; Martin M. Barnes, 1991; Vernon M. Stern, 1992; Mir S. Mulla, 1995; Nick C. Toscano, 1997; Ring T. Cardé and John T. Trumble, 1998; Michael Rust, 2001; Marshall W. Johnson and Timothy D. Paine, 2006; Brian Federici and Alexander Raikhel, 2009; Thomas A. Miller, 2010; Bradley A. Mullens, 2011; Joseph Morse, 2012, and Jocelyn Millar, 2013.

Founded in 1889, the ESA has nearly 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government.

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Sarjeet Gill
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E-mail: sarjeet.gill@ucr.edu

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