Source: UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 15, 2006
Project End Date
Jul 14, 2007
Grant Year
Project Director
Strausfeld, N. J.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
The Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona held its Fifth International Symposium on Molecular Insect Science from May 20-24. Subjects covered ranged from Evolution and Development, Genomics, Neurobiology, to Insecticide resistance and toxicology. Invited speakers included young trainees. Four poster sessions, each three hours long, allowed presentation and discussion of 148 posters, most given by pre- and postdoctoral trainees. Abstracts of session will be published online in the Journal of Insect Science The purpose of this Symposium was to discuss cutting edge advances in insect molecular science in the areas of 1) Evolution and Development; 2) Insect Genomics; 3) Chemical Ecology and Chemosensation; 4) Insect Immunity and vector Biology; 5) Molecular Neurobiology and Signaling and 6) Insecticide Resistance and Toxicology. It was intended that participants from these various fields attended all the talks and thus participated in areas that might not have been of direct impact but which offered new avenues for exploration and cross-fertilization. Amongst the important outcomes of this meeting were workshops that were organized prior to the meeting and which were held at various sites on the University of Arizona Campus. Workshops were: 1. Development and applications of insect transgenesis; 2. Development of post-genomic resources for mosquitoes; 3. Approaches for the identification of novel insecticide targets; 4. Cuticle: composition, construction, catabolism and comparative considerations. Each Workshop was extremely well attended, even over subscribed.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
The objectives of the 5th International Symposium on Molecular Insect Science were to discuss major trends in all areas of insect molecular science, including control technologies and vector biology, and to bring together leaders in this field and a large number of younger scientists including pre- and postdoctoral trainees. A major forum for discussion was lengthy poster sessions and workshops. The symposium guaranteed extensive interactions amongst scientists from various fields, thus providing an exciting milieu for intellectual cross-fertilization and possible collaboration. In addition, four workshops that were held at various sites in the meeting venue and at the adjoining University of Arizona campus ensured an intense working atmosphere and interactions.
Project Methods
An International Committee working with the Local Organizational Committee at the University of Arizona Center for Insect Science came to a consensus regarding the programmatic contents and the selection of speakers. These discussions were held electronically and a consensus was reached regarding finalists for speaking slots who were then selected according to a simple across-committee vote. One presentation slot was left unoccupied until all the poster abstracts had been submitted and read by members of these Committees. The Committees then voted on the best abstract relevant to a particular section and the presenter of that abstract was then invited to present a full-length talk. The result of this strategy was that in each section, except the first, a young scientist (graduate or postdoctoral trainee) presented. Four Poster Sessions allowed the presentation and discussion of between 38 and 44 posters. The sessions were three hours in length, offering ample time for the viewing of each poster. Abstracts were compiled into a meetings volume and will be published on-line in the Journal of Insect Science (Editor. H. Hagedorn). Workshops were invited from Committee members, speakers and session chairs. The final choice of workshops was decided by the International Committee.

Progress 07/15/06 to 07/14/07

Marriott University Park Hotel, Tucson, Arizona May 20-24, 2006 was to emphasize new and exciting advances currently taking place in the field of molecular insect science. The molecular approach was used in the broadest sense, realizing that molecules form the basis for all biological systems, and whether one starts with the molecules themselves or with the whole organism or whole ecosystem, molecules can form a common ground for scientific discussion. This highly successful meeting brought together scientists of all these levels of analysis for an exciting exchange of ideas. Each day of the symposium consisted of seven invited guest speaker sessions (a total of 27 speakers) built around a general theme. These themes included Evolution and Development, Insect Genomics, Chemical Ecology and Chemosensation, Insect Immunity and vector Biology, Molecular Neurobiology and Signaling and Insecticide Resistance and Toxicology. The speaker sessions included well-known, world renowned scientists chosen because of their international reputations and significant contributions to their respective fields. The majority of the speakers were younger scientists engaged in new and leading edge research. These speakers were selected in collaboration with an International Committee using Internet and e-mail conferencing. The speaker sessions were highly professional and were all exceptionally well attended. Most lectures elicited an unusual among of questions from the audience and on several occasions chairpersons had to cut the question/answer sessions short in order to stay within the meeting time frame. The four early afternoon poster sessions provided an ideal break from the formal program and allowed presentation and discussion of over 172 posters, most given by pre- and postdoctoral trainees. Three evening workshops organized entirely by the conferees themselves were very favorably received by the participants, being well attended and generating keen interest. The success of the meeting is due to its programmatic format, its multidisciplinary nature, and its size, attracting 270 participants from 14 different countries. The meeting has a high reputation also due to the caliber of its invited guest speakers and the intense level of interaction by its participants. It is planned to hold the next meeting in this series in 2009.

This meeting has significantly facilitate interactions between molecular insect scientists and those with interests in neurobiology, ecology, phylogenetics and insect control technology. The potential for furthering collaborative research efforts across disciplinary boundaries is today of great importance and will lead to innovative strategies in the Insect Sciences. This overarching approach to insect biology strongly accords with the mission statement of the USDA, which is to enhance the qualify of life for the American people by supporting production of agriculture.


  • Each symposium attendee received a formal Program and Abstract Book. In addition, and with permission of the authors, the symposium abstracts were published in the Journal of Insect Science, Volume Six: 2006. The abstracts were received by the Journal editor on May 19, 2006, accepted on June 26, 2006 and published December 18, 2006. ISSN: 153602442, Volume 6, Number 46.