José Marcos Ribeiro, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Vector Biology Section


TW3 Building, Room 2E32
12735 Twinbrook Pkwy
Rockville, MD 20892


Research Topics

Research in the Vector Biology Section explores the biochemical and pharmacological diversity found in the salivary glands of blood feeding insects and ticks. Molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches are used in our research. Recently, we have used vector salivary gland transcriptome analysis to discover new and interesting compounds and for that reason have developed tools for bioinformatic analysis.


Ixolaris, a novel TFPI molecule

In each of the major areas of research, we seek discoveries that improve our basic knowledge of the evolution of the blood feeding behavior, at the same time generating novel compounds that can be of pharmacological use or developed as vaccine targets. Inquiries about predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships as well as Ph.D. studentships in the National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program are welcome.

The figure shows the structure of Ixolaris, an anti-clotting protein derived from the tickIxodes scapularis (also pictured). This protein has anti-clotting and anti-metastatic properties.


Dr. Ribeiro received his M.D. from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and a Ph.D. from the Biophysics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was an assistant and associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor at the department of entomology in the University of Arizona before joining NIAID in 1996. His work focuses on the role of vector saliva in blood feeding by arthropods, where a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds and new targets for vaccination against vector-borne diseases have been uncovered. Dr. Ribeiro has served for many years in the Tropical Diseases Research Program of the World Health Organization and as editor and reviewer for several journals.

Selected Publications

  1. Arcà B, Lombardo F, Struchiner CJ, Ribeiro JM. Anopheline salivary protein genes and gene families: an evolutionary overview after the whole genome sequence of sixteen Anopheles species. BMC Genomics. 2017;18(1):153.

  2. Gulia-Nuss M, Nuss AB, Meyer JM, Sonenshine DE, Roe RM, Waterhouse RM, Sattelle DB, de la Fuente J, Ribeiro JM, Megy K, Thimmapuram J, Miller JR, Walenz BP, Koren S, Hostetler JB, Thiagarajan M, Joardar VS, Hannick LI, Bidwell S, Hammond MP, Young S, Zeng Q, Abrudan JL, Almeida FC, Ayllón N, Bhide K, Bissinger BW, Bonzon-Kulichenko E, Buckingham SD, Caffrey DR, Caimano MJ, Croset V, Driscoll T, Gilbert D, Gillespie JJ, Giraldo-Calderón GI, Grabowski JM, Jiang D, Khalil SM, Kim D, Kocan KM, Koči J, Kuhn RJ, Kurtti TJ, Lees K, Lang EG, Kennedy RC, Kwon H, Perera R, Qi Y, Radolf JD, Sakamoto JM, Sánchez-Gracia A, Severo MS, Silverman N, Šimo L, Tojo M, Tornador C, Van Zee JP, Vázquez J, Vieira FG, Villar M, Wespiser AR, Yang Y, Zhu J, Arensburger P, Pietrantonio PV, Barker SC, Shao R, Zdobnov EM, Hauser F, Grimmelikhuijzen CJ, Park Y, Rozas J, Benton R, Pedra JH, Nelson DR, Unger MF, Tubio JM, Tu Z, Robertson HM, Shumway M, Sutton G, Wortman JR, Lawson D, Wikel SK, Nene VM, Fraser CM, Collins FH, Birren B, Nelson KE, Caler E, Hill CA. Genomic insights into the Ixodes scapularis tick vector of Lyme disease. Nat Commun. 2016;7:10507.

  3. Mendes-Sousa AF, Queiroz DC, Vale VF, Ribeiro JM, Valenzuela JG, Gontijo NF, Andersen JF. An Inhibitor of the Alternative Pathway of Complement in Saliva of New World Anopheline Mosquitoes. J Immunol. 2016;197(2):599-610.

  4. Jablonka W, Pham V, Nardone G, Gittis A, Silva-Cardoso L, Atella GC, Ribeiro JM, Andersen JF. Structure and Ligand-Binding Mechanism of a Cysteinyl Leukotriene-Binding Protein from a Blood-Feeding Disease Vector. ACS Chem Biol. 2016;11(7):1934-44.

  5. Ribeiro JM, Martin-Martin I, Arcà B, Calvo E. A Deep Insight into the Sialome of Male and Female Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):e0151400.

This page was last updated on August 21st, 2018