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Aly Afify

Ali Afify, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Office: PISB 421
Phone: 215.895.2526

Additional Sites:

Google Scholar


  • PhD, Natural Sciences, University of Konstanz, 2014
  • MS, Zoology and Agricultural Nematology, Cairo University, 2009
  • BS, Plant Protection, Cairo University, 2001

Curriculum Vitae:

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Research Interests:

  • Insect olfaction
  • Sensory Neurobiology
  • Mosquito oviposition
  • Malaria


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.

Selected Publications:


  • Afify A, Potter CJ (2022). Calcium imaging of Anopheles coluzzii mosquito antennae expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP6f. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot107918.
  • Afify A, Potter CJ (2022). Genetically encoded calcium indicators for functional imaging of mosquito olfactory neurons. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols doi:10.1101/pdb.top107683.
  • Task D, Lin C, Vulpe A, Afify A, Ballou S, Brbić M, Schlegel P, Raji J, Jefferis G, Li H, Menuz K, Potter CJ (2022). Chemoreceptor co-expression in Drosophila melanogaster olfactory neurons. eLife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.72599.
  • Maguire SE, Afify A, Goff LA, Potter CJ (2022). Odorant-receptor-mediated regulation of chemosensory gene expression in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Cell Reports, 38 (10). doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110494.
  • Konopka JK, Task D, Afify A, Raji J, Deibel K, Maguire S, Lawrence R, Potter CJ (2021). Olfaction in Anopheles mosquitoes. Chemical Senses. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjab021.
  • Melo N, Capek M, Arenas O, Afify A, Yilmaz A, Potter C, Laminette P, Para A, Gallio M, Stensmyr MC (2021). The irritant receptor TRPA1 mediates the mosquito repellent effect of catnip. Current Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.02.010.
  • Afify A, Potter CJ (2020). Insect Repellents mediate species-specific olfactory behaviors in mosquitoes. Malaria Journal, 19 (127). doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-03206-8.
  • Afify A, Betz JF, Riabinina O, Lahondère C, Potter CJ (2019). Commonly used insect repellents hide human odors from Anopheles mosquitoes. Current Biology, 29 (21): 3669-3680. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.007.
  • Eliason J, Afify A, Potter CJ, Matsumura I (2018). A GAL80 collection to inhibit GAL4 transgenes in Drosophila olfactory sensory neurons. G3, 8 (11): 3661-3668. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200569.
  • Afify A, Galizia CG (2015). Chemosensory cues for mosquito oviposition site selection. Journal of Medical Entomology, 52(2):120-30. doi: 10.1093/jme/tju024.
  • Afify A, Horlacher B, Roller J, Galizia CG (2014). Different repellents for Aedes aegypti against blood-feeding and oviposition. PLoS One, 9 (7): e103765. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103765.
  • Afify A, Galizia CG (2014). Gravid females of the mosquito Aedes aegypti avoid oviposition on m-cresol in the presence of the deterrent isomer p-cresol. Parasite & Vectors, 7:315. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-315.