- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis environmental toxicologist/biochemist Sascha Nicklisch will discuss how to disarm the defenses of the varroa mite, a major pest of honey bees, at his UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology seminar on Monday, Oct. 23.
His seminar, "Disarming the Defenses of Resistant Pests: Rational Design of Inhibitors for ABC Transporter Proteins in the Varroa Mite," is set for 4:10 p.m. in Room 122 of Briggs Hall.
The seminar also will be on Zoom. The link:
"Varroa mites pose a significant global menace to honey bee colonies, causing colony losses, ecological imbalances, and food scarcity," says Nicklish, an assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology, in his abstract. "Escalating pesticide resistance in these mites necessitates innovative strategies to bolster acaricide effectiveness. "Small molecule synergists that heighten mite susceptibility to acaricides offer a promising solution by amplifying chemical treatment efficacy, thus reducing overall pesticide demand."
A first-generation college graduate, Nicklisch received his master's degree in biological sciences in 2005 from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his doctorate in protein biochemistry at the University of Cologne in 2008. He postdotoral fellowships at the University o Osnabruek, Germany, and at UC Santa Barbara.
Nicklisch joined the UC Davis faculty in July 2018 after serving as a staff scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and as a part-time lecturer at UC Dan Diego. His resume also includes senior scientist in analytical biochemistry for Phenex Inc. and consultant for August Therapeutics, Inc., both in the greater San Diego area.
Nicklisch said he "was drawn to teach at UC Davis because of its reputation for research in environmental and human toxicology. I feel like this area of science has barely had its surface scratched and I am excited to pioneer further developments in the field. My research interests focus on understanding why industrial chemicals and other toxicants enter and accumulate in humans and other animals and plants."
"Our main research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying chemical uptake and distribution in humans and other organisms," he writes on his website. "The Nicklisch Lab is interested in determining levels of drugs and environmental chemicals in different types of foods and to biochemically characterize their interactions with protective drug transporters, including P-glycoprotein, MRP1 and BCRP. Current efforts in the lab focus on investigating possible drug-pollutant and pollutant-pollutant interactions with P-glycoprotein other drug transporters on a molecular and organismal level."
"The Nicklisch Lab," he relates, "has demonstrated expertise in a broad range of traditional lab techniques to determine structure and conformation of proteins, including NMR and EPR spectroscopy and Circular Dichroism spectrometry. In addition, we have a proven track record of developing and optimizing new biochemical assays and analytical tools to determine enzyme and transporter function and kinetics. Our lab has pioneered the field of toxicokinetic interactions of environmental chemicals with drug transporters as novel targets for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying chemical bioaccumulation."
Seminar coordinator is Brian Johnson, associate professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. For Zoom technical issues, he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The list of seminars is posted here.