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Zhiyong Xi

Inventor of the technology for developing Wolbachia symbiosis with novel mosquito hosts by embryonic microinjection.

● Internationally renowned medical entomologist and microbiologist
● Chairman of Guangzhou Wolbaki Biotech Co., Ltd
● Professor of Microbiology and molecular genetics, Michigan State University, USA
● The former director of Sun Yat-sen University— Michigan State University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases
Professor Zhiyong Xi has studied intracellular bacteria in arthropod vectors since 1993 and focused on Wolbachia-mosquito interactions for the past 20 years. Professor Xi and his team are the first to establish stable Wolbachia infections in mosquito vectors of dengue (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) and malaria (Anopheles stephensi) and hemipteran insects, opening a new avenue in the use of Wolbachia to control the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases and agriculturally important insect pests. His team is also among the first to show Wolbachia-mediated pathogen interference in mosquito. To translate Wolbachia into a tool for vector-borne disease control, he served as the director of Sun Yat-sen University - Michigan State University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases, and led field trials to develop Wolbachia-based population suppression for control of the primary dengue mosquito vectors A. albopictus in China and A. aegypti in Mexico. Recent efforts also include developing Wolbachia to control Culex quinquefasciatus, both a nuisance mosquito and disease vector, and planthopper, the most destructive pest for rice. He has hosted and organized numerous international workshops in Guangzhou, with participants from 37 countries, on developing Wolbachia for mosquito vector control. Through providing collaborators training opportunities and mosquito strains, his team sets up a guide for the international community to develop Wolbachia or similar technique for dengue and malaria control. Professor Xi has published over sixty scientific papers, including those in the top international journals such as Nature, Science, PNAS and Current Biology.