Ali Afify is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Drexel University. Ali is interested in investigating the olfactory neural basis of different mosquito behaviors, particularly egg laying behavior of the malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii. Using a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological, optical imaging and genetic experiments, his research aims to characterize long range chemosensory cues (attractants and repellents) of mosquito egg laying, identify chemosensory receptors that respond to them, and develop new cues that are more efficient in directing egg laying mosquitoes away from human dwellings and into traps to kill them.
Ali earned his bachelor and master’s degrees from Cairo University and earned his PhD from the University of Konstanz in Germany. Afterwards, he joined the Potter lab at the department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral fellow where he worked on understanding the olfactory mode of action of mosquito host-seeking repellents. Ali received fellowships from Fulbright, the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. He also received the Alfred Blalock Young Investigator Award from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2020. Ali joined Drexel in September 2022 to continue his work on mosquito olfaction. The overall goal of Ali’s research is to contribute to controlling mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit such as malaria.