Dr Tony Nolan is a molecular biologist and has been working with Target Malaria for about 8 years now. He is trying to manipulate the biology of the mosquitoes in ways that can interfere with their ability to transmit disease. He has worked mainly on the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, the main vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.
With other members of the team he has been working to develop gene drive mosquitoes in the laboratory at Imperial College London.
Gene drive ensures that a copy of a gene is inherited among a disproportionately high proportion of offspring. Coupling a modification that selectively disrupts female fertility with gene drive element could rapidly lead to spread of the element and an overall decrease in the reproductive output, leading to population suppression.
Most recently, Dr Tony Nolan was part of the team that published a paper in Nature Biotechnology on one of the latest finding of their work in the laboratory showing that gene drive can lead to complete mosquito population suppression within a cage setting.