Patricia Y. Scaraffia, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
J Bennett Johnston Bldg. Room 512
1430 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone 504.988.6979
Fax 504.988.6686
Check out the Scaraffia Lab Webpage


Personal Statement:

Dr. Scaraffia's laboratory investigates nitrogen and carbon metabolism in Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses. A. aegypti females have powerful biochemical-physiological mechanisms for coping with the toxic ammonia concentrations generated during a blood meal digestion. This is a critical detoxification process that allows the mosquito females to maintain ammonia levels below lethal concentration in the tissues. Dr. Scaraffia's laboratory is particularly interested in unraveling the physiological, biochemical and molecular bases underlying the regulation of nitrogen and carbon metabolism in mosquitoes, as well as in discovering new metabolic targets that can be used for the design of better mosquito-control strategies.

Research Interests:

Nitrogen and carbon metabolism in Aedes agypti mosquitoes; Isotopically-labeled compounds and mass spectrometry; Selected reaction monitoring; Metabolic targets for vector control.

Educational Background:

  • Ph.D., National University of Cordoba, Argentina

Professional Achievements:

  • 2015-: COR Research Fellowship Award. Office of Academic Affairs and Provost. Tulane University.
  • 2014-: Corinne Adams Baines Professorship Award. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Tulane University, USA.
  • 2011-: R01 NIH/NIAID Grant Award, PI: Scaraffia, PY
  • 2010/2012: Meritorious performance, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The University of Arizona
  • 2010: Travel Grant. Symposium: Facing the challenges of Vector-Borne Diseases in the 21st Century. Riverside, CA
  • 2003/2006: Meritorious performance, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, The University of Arizona
  • 2003: International Fellowship for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. The Biology of Disease Vector Course was sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacAuthur Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • 2000-2001: International Research Fellowship, Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Italy
  • 1994-2000: Award of Excellence in Teaching-Research, Ministry of Education and Culture of Argentina
  • 1998-1999: Research Fellowship, Center of Science and Technology of Cordoba National University, Argentina
  • 1993-1997: Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific Investigation of Cordoba, Argentina


Selected Publications:

Mazzalupo S, Isoe J, Belloni V, Scaraffia PY (2015) “Effective disposal of nitrogen waste in in blood-fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes requires alanine aminotransferase” FASEB J (in press).

Arik AJ, Hun LV, Quicke K, Piatt M, Ziegler R, Scaraffia PY, Badgandi H, Riehle MA (2015). "Increased Akt signaling in the mosquito fat body increases adult survivorship" FASEB J. 4:1404-1413.

Mazzalupo S, Scaraffia PY (2014). "Application of isotopically labeled compounds and tandem mass spectrometry for studying metabolic pathways in mosquitoes". In: Chandrasekar, R.; Tyagi, B.K., Gui, Z.Z., Reeck G.R. (Eds.). Short View on Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. International Book Mission, South India. K-State Union, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA, Vol. 1, pp. 99-126.

Belloni V, Scaraffia PY (2014). "Exposure to L-cycloserine incurs survival costs and behavioral alterations in Aedes aegypti females" Parasite Vectors. 7:373. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-373.

Isoe J, Scaraffia PY (2013) "Urea synthesis and excretion in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are regulated by a unique cross-talk signaling mechanism" PloS ONE 8(6):e65393. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065393.

Ma X, Dagan S, Somogyi A, Wysocki VH, Scaraffia PY (2013) "Low mass MS/MS fragments of protonated amino acids used for distinction between their 13C-isotopomers for metabolic studies". J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 24:622-631.

Bush, DR, Wysocki VH, Scaraffia PY (2012) "Study of the fragmentation of arginine isobutyl ester applied to arginine quantification in Aedes aegytpi mosquito excreta". J. Mass Spectrom. 47:1364-1371.

Jiang W, Wysocki VH, Dodds ED, Miesfeld RL, Scaraffia PY. (2010). "Differentiation and quantification of C1 and C2 13C-labeled glucose by tandem mass spectrometry". Anal Biochem. 440:40-44.

Scaraffia P, Zhang Q, Thorson K, Wysocki VH, Miesfeld RL (2010). "Differential ammonia metabolism in Aedes aegypti fat body and midgut tissues". J. Insect Physiol. 56:1040-1049.

Scaraffia PY, Tan G, Isoe J, Wysocki VH, Wells MA, Miesfeld RL (2008)."Discovery of an alternate metabolic pathway for urea synthesis in adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes" Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci USA. 105: 518-523.

Scaraffia P Zhang Q, Wysocki VH, Isoe J, Wells MA (2006). "Analysis of whole body ammonia metabolism in Aedes aegypti using [15N]-labeled compounds and mass spectrometry" Insect Biochem Mol Biol, 36: 614-622.

Zhang Q, Wysocki VH, Scaraffia PY, Wells MA (2005)."Fragmentation Pathway for Glutamine Identification: Loss of 73 Da from Dimethylformamidene Isobutyl Glutamine" J Am Soc Mass Spectrom, 16:1192-1203.

Zhou G, Scaraffia PY, Wells MA (2005) "Vector nutrition and energy metabolism". In: Marquardt, W.C., Black, W.C., Freier, J.E., Hagedorn, H.H., Hemingway, J., Higgs, S., James, A.A., Kondratieff, B., Moore, C.G. (Eds.), 2nd ed. Biology of disease vectors. Elsevier Academic press, London, pp. 211-315.

Scaraffia P, Isoe J, Murillo A, Wells MA (2005). "Ammonia metabolism in Aedes aegypti." Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 35: 491-503.

Scaraffia PY, Wells MA (2003). "Proline can be utilized as an energy substrate during flight of Aedes aegypti females". J. Insect Physiol 49:591-601.

Scaraffia P, Maldonado C, Aoki A, Gerez de Burgos NM (2001). "Comparative study of enzymes in testes and ovaries from Dipetalogaster maximus (Uhler) and Triatoma infestans (Klug) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae). Correlation with fine structural organization" Eur. J. Histochem. 45:295-303.

Cavagnari B, Scaraffia PY, Haller JF, Gerez de Burgos NM, Santome JA (2000). "Presence of fatty acid-binding protein and lipid stores in flight muscles of Dipetalogaster maximus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)".J. Med. Entomol. 37: 938-944.

Scaraffia PY, Gerez de Burgos, NM  (2000). "Effects of temperature and pH on Hexokinase from flight muscles of Dipetalogaster maximus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)". J. Med. Entomol 37:689-694.

Scaraffia P, Remedi MS, Maldonado C, Aoki A, Gerez de Burgos NM (1999). "Thoracic muscles of Triatomine insects: Biochemical adaptations for flight activity". In:  Carcavallo, R. U., Giron, I.G., Jurberg, J., Lent, H. (Eds.). Atlas of Chagas disease vectors in America. Ed Fiocruz. Río de Janeiro. Brazil, pp 1105-1113.

Scaraffia P, Remedi MS, Maldonado C,  Aoki A, Gerez de Burgos NM (1997). "Enzymatic and ultrastructural changes in thoracic muscles of triatomine insects during the last stage of metamorphosis". Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 116: 173-179.




Department of Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2210, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-3558