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. Kim IH, Castillo JC, Aryan A, Martin-Martin I, Nouzova M, Noriega FG, Barletta ABF, Calvo E, Adelman ZN, Ribeiro JMC, Andersen JF. A mosquito juvenile hormone binding protein (mJHBP) regulates the activation of innate immune defenses and hemocyte development. PLoS Pathog. 2020;16(1):e1008288.
  2. Assumpção TC, Mizurini DM, Ma D, Monteiro RQ, Ahlstedt S, Reyes M, Kotsyfakis M, Mather TN, Andersen JF, Lukszo J, Ribeiro JMC, Francischetti IMB. Ixonnexin from Tick Saliva Promotes Fibrinolysis by Interacting with Plasminogen and Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator, and Prevents Arterial Thrombosis. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):4806.
  3. Andersen JF, Lei H, Strayer EC, Kanai T, Pham V, Pan XZ, Alvarenga PH, Gerber GF, Asojo OA, Francischetti IMB, Brodsky RA, Valenzuela JG, Ribeiro JMC. A bispecific inhibitor of complement and coagulation blocks activation in complementopathy models via a novel mechanism. Blood. 2023;141(25):3109-3121.
  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.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, August 18, 2023