Ke Dong

Professor in Biology

Research in the Dong lab centers on the molecular, neuronal and behavioral bases of insect responses to natural/synthetic neuroactive compounds, including pyrethrum and pyrethroid insecticides. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms of action of neuroactive compounds on insect ion channels and receptors and mechanisms of insect resistance to neuroactive chemicals. We are also interested in understanding the physiological functions of various ion channels and receptors, particularly voltage-gated sodium channels, the DSC1 cation channel and odorant receptors, in Drosophila melanogaster (a genetically tractable model) and Aedes aegypti (a major vector of human diseases, such as yellow fever, Dengue and Zika). We take a combination of molecular genetic, neurophysiological, toxicological and behavioral approaches to evaluate the effects of neuroactive compounds at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels. Our goal is to make fundamental discoveries in insect-chemical interactions that impact practical solutions to control disease vectors in the global fight against vector-borne human diseases.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 1993

Gurevitz, M., D. Gordon, M. G. Barzilai, R. Kahn, L. Cohen, Y. Moran, N. Zilberberg, et al. “Molecular description of scorpion toxin interaction with voltage–gated sodium channels.” In Scorpion Venoms, 471–91, 2015. Full Text

Silver, Kristopher S., Yuzhe Du, Yoshiko Nomura, Eugenio E. Oliveira, Vincent L. Salgado, Boris S. Zhorov, and Ke Dong. “Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels as Insecticide Targets.,” 46:389–433, 2014. Full Text

Hollingworth, R. M., and K. Dong. “The biochemical and molecular genetic basis of resistance to pesticides in arthropods.” In Global Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods, 40–89, 2008.

Wang, Qiang, Peng Xu, Simon Sanchez, Phil Duran, Felipe Andreazza, Rufus Isaacs, and Ke Dong. “Behavioral and physiological responses of Drosophila melanogaster and D. suzukii to volatiles from plant essential oils.Pest Management Science, January 14, 2021. Full Text

Yan, Ru, Qiaoling Zhou, Zhanyi Xu, Guonian Zhu, Ke Dong, Boris S. Zhorov, and Mengli Chen. “Three sodium channel mutations from Aedes albopictus confer resistance to Type I, but not Type II pyrethroids.Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 123 (August 2020): 103411. Full Text

Chen, Mengli, Yuzhe Du, Yoshiko Nomura, Boris S. Zhorov, and Ke Dong. “Chronology of sodium channel mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in Aedes aegypti.Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 104, no. 2 (June 2020): e21686. Full Text

Sun, Huahua, Yuzhe Du, Zewen Liu, and Ke Dong. “Distinct functional properties of sodium channel variants are associated with usage of alternative exons in Nilaparvata lugens.Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 118 (March 2020): 103292. Full Text

Zhang, Jianqiang, Wenbo Hao, Boris S. Zhorov, Ke Dong, and Dingxin Jiang. “Discovery of a Novel Series of Tricyclic Oxadiazine 4a-Methyl Esters Based on Indoxacarb as Potential Sodium Channel Blocker/Modulator Insecticides.Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 67, no. 28 (July 5, 2019): 7793–7809. Full Text

Chen, Mengli, Yuzhe Du, Shaoying Wu, Yoshiko Nomura, Guonian Zhu, Boris S. Zhorov, and Ke Dong. “Molecular evidence of sequential evolution of DDT- and pyrethroid-resistant sodium channel in Aedes aegypti.Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases 13, no. 6 (June 3, 2019): e0007432. Full Text Open Access Copy

Chen, Mengli, Yuzhe Du, Guonian Zhu, Genki Takamatsu, Makoto Ihara, Kazuhiko Matsuda, Boris S. Zhorov, and Ke Dong. “Action of six pyrethrins purified from the botanical insecticide pyrethrum on cockroach sodium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes.Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 151 (October 2018): 82–89. Full Text

Du, Yuzhe, Denis B. Tikhonov, Yoshiko Nomura, Ke Dong, and Boris S. Zhorov. “Mutational analysis of state-dependent contacts in the pore module of eukaryotic sodium channels.Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 652 (August 2018): 59–70. Full Text

Ren, Miaomiao, Jianguo Niu, Bo Hu, Qi Wei, Cheng Zheng, Xiangrui Tian, Congfen Gao, Bingjun He, Ke Dong, and Jianya Su. “Block of Kir channels by flonicamid disrupts salivary and renal excretion of insect pests.Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 99 (August 2018): 17–26. Full Text

Chen, Xueting, Yuanyuan Wang, Wenjun Wu, Ke Dong, and Zhaonong Hu. “DSC1 channel-dependent developmental regulation of pyrethroid susceptibility in Drosophila melanogaster.Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 148 (June 2018): 190–98. Full Text


Selected Grants

High-resolution insights into insecticide interactions with voltage-gated sodium channels awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2024

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants