Molly Duman Scheel, Ph.D.

IUSM Showalter Scholar
Associate Professor, Medical and Molecular Genetics
Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame

Ph.D., University of Chicago

Postdoctoral Training, University of Chicago

B.S., University of Notre Dame

Research Interests 


Vector mosquitoes inflict more human suffering than any other organismand spread disease-causing pathogens that kill more than one million people each year.  Despite the devastating impact of these insects on human society, we know very little about mosquito developmental biology.  In recent years, our laboratory began a large-scale effort to develop the dengue and Zika vector mosquito Aedes aegypti as an emerging model for the study of mosquito developmental genetics.  This research, which has primarily focused on mosquito central and sensory nervous system development, has included the first-ever targeted genetic knockdown studies of mosquito neural development.  We recently piloted the use of siRNA nanoparticle-mediated gene targeting in A. aegypti larvaeOur laboratory has successfully used this technique to disrupt mosquito brain, olfactory, and visual development.  We are also exploring the development of mosquito sexual dimorphism, particularly within the context of the developing nervous system.  Other current projects include global discovery of gene regulatory elements that can be used to modify gene expression in multiple mosquito species, as well as the discovery of species-specific mosquito larvicides for Aedes aegypti as well as multiple Anopheline malaria vector mosquito species.  Our laboratory’s in-depth analysis of mosquito developmental biology aims to promote the elucidation of tools to target mosquitoes before they are disease-transmitting adults. 


Our lab in the news:  

Please add:

South Bend experts address Zika virus concerns

Local researcher talks about contracting the Zika virus

Med school researchers in South Bend seek ways to slow Zika virus spread

Local scientist is biting back at mosquitoes  (same as the link already posted, just added the title)


Research Support:


  • Grand Challenges Explorations Grant (Phase 1), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 5/1/15-10/31/16. Role: PI. The major goal of this study is to identify interfering RNA pesticides for Anopheline mosquitoes.
  • Showalter Scholar Award, Showalter Trust, 8/1/15-7/31/18.
  • R21AI117145-01, NIH/NIAID, 1/15/15-1/14/17, Cis-regulatory element discovery in a sequenced mosquito genome. Role: P.I. The major goal of this proposal is to identify gene drivers for mosquito tissues of vector importance that function in multiple vector insect species. No overlap.



  • R01AI081795-01, NIH/NIAID, 8/1/09-7/31/14, Analysis of the functions of axon guidance genes during vector mosquito development, Role: P.I. The major goals of this study were to examine the functions of netrin and semaphorin signaling during A. aegypti development.


  • R15 NS 048904-01, NIH/NINDS, 7/1/04-12/30/07, Netrins: creating divergent axon morphologies, Role: P.I. The major goals of this study were to investigate how changes in netrin expression have contributed to changes in nerve cord morphology in distantly related arthropods.


Full List of Publications and Links for Open Access at:  Duman-Scheel PubMed

Selected publications (mosquito development/comparative development):

  • Behura, S.K., Sarro, J., Li, P., Mysore, K., Severson, D.W., Emrich, S.J., Duman-Scheel, M.  High-throughput cis-regulatory element discovery in the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti.  In press.
  • Mysore, K., Sun, L., Tomchaney, M., Sullivan, G., Adams, H., Piscoya, A.S., Severson, D.W., Syed, Z., and Duman-Scheel, M.  2015.  siRNA-mediated silencing of doublesex during female development of the dengue vector mosquito Aedes aegypti.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(11):e0004213. PMID:  26544686. PMCID:  PMC4636264.
  • Tomchaney, M., Mysore, K., Sun, L., Li, P., Emrich, S.J., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M.  2014.  Examination of the genetic basis for sexual dimorphism in the Aedes aegypti (dengue vector mosquito) pupal brain.  Biology of Sex Differences 5:10.
  • Mysore, K., Andrews, E., Li, P., Duman-Scheel, M.  2014. Chitosan/siRNA nanoparticle targeting demonstrates a requirement for single-minded during larval and pupal olfactory system development of the vector mosquito Aedes aegyptiBMC Dev Biol. 14:9. PMID: 24552425. PMCID: In process.
  • Mysore, K., Flannery, E., Leming, M.T., Tomchaney, M., Shi, L., Sun, L., O'Tousa, J.E., Severson, D.W., Duman-Scheel, M.  2014.  Role of semphorin-1a in the developing visual system of the disease vector mosquito Aedes aegypti.  Dev Dynamics. 243(11):1457-69.  PMID: 25045063.  PMCID: In process.
  • Mysore, K., Flannery, E.M., Tomchaney, M., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M.  2013.  Disruption of Aedes aegypti olfactory system development through chitosan/siRNA nanoparticle targeting of semaphorin-1a.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(5):e2215. PMID: 23696908. PMCID:  PMC3656119.
  • Sarro, J., Andrews, A., Longhua, S., Behura, S., Tan, J.C., Zeng, E., Severson, D.W., and Duman-Scheel, M.  2013.  A requirement for commissureless2 function during dipteran insect nerve cord development.  Dev Dynamics 242(12):1466-77.  PMID: 24026811. PMCID: PMC3894064.

Scheel Lab Protocols (all are free PMC full text articles)

  • Zhang, X., Mysore, K., Flannery, E., Michel, K., Severson, D.W., Zhu, K.Y., Duman-Scheel M.  2015.  Chitosan/interfering RNA nanoparticle mediated gene silencing in disease vector mosquito larvae.  J Vis Exp 97.  doi: 10.3791/52523.


  • Clemons, A., Haugen, M., Flannery, E., Tomchaney, M., Kast, K., Jacowski, C., Le, C., Mori, A., Simanton Holland, W., Sarro, J., Severson, D., and Duman-Scheel, M.  2010.  Aedes aegypti:  an emerging model for vector mosquito development.  Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. 2010(10):pdb.emo141. PMID: 20889691.  PMCID: PMC2975269.  (Published in conjunction with five methods articles, CSHP 2010(10):pdb.prot5507-prot5511).

scheel_lab_2016.jpgLaboratory Personnel:

Keshava Mysore, Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University School of Medicine

Limb Haparai, Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University School of Medicine

Kathleen Eggleson, Visiting Research Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine

Ping Li,  Laboratory Technician, Indiana Univ. School of Medicine

Longhua Sun, Laboratory Technician, Univ. of Notre Dame Dept. of Biological Sciences

Elizabeth Harper, Laboratory Technician, Indiana Univ. School of Medicine

Previous Laboratory Personnel:

Charles Tessier, Research Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine

Ellen Flannery, Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health

Joseph Sarro, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Univ. of Notre Dame Genomics & Bioinformatics Core

Anthony Clemons, Ph.D., Graduate, Univ. of Notre Dame Dept. of Biological Sciences

Michael Tomchaney, M.S., Medical Student, Midwestern University

1234 Notre Dame Avenue | South Bend, IN 46617 | Ph: (574) 631-5574 | Fax: (574) 631-6857