John Randy Clayton

John Randy Clayton

Post-doctoral Researcher


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I was born and raised near Blythe, California. I Went to UC Berkeley and got my bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Genetics and Development. While there, I worked in the Laboratory of Brent Mishler on molecular evolution of the 3’UTR of the rbcL gene. After graduating, I worked for eighteen months in Atlanta, GA as an EID Fellow in the Laboratory of Dr. Mark Benedict on transgenesis of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. In the Spring of 2003 I joined the laboratory of Dr. Fotis Kafatos at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, where I worked on reverse genetics, transgenesis and functional genomics of An. gambiae, specifically with respect to the insect innate immune response to Plasmodium and bacterial infections . I returned to the US in 2003 to pursue a PhD in the laboratory of Dr. J. Marie Hardwick in the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. My thesis research involved the heterologous expression of virulence factors in Sindbis virus and the insect host response to RNA viruses, particularly in the context of a prime-challenge infection model. After earning my doctorate, I began post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Stephanie Blandin in the Anopheles Group at the Institute de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire (IBMC) in Strasbourg, France. We are currently working to identify genes responsible for resistance and susceptibility to Plasmodium infection in the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae.

This is my second experience living abroad as an ex-pat and I am trying to make the most of it by learning French and blogging about my experiences, my research and life in general.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, dining, film, visiting monuments, museums and parks, theater, classical and contemporary live music performances and pub crawling.

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Twitter: @Gravelpits


4. Silencing of Genes and Alleles by RNAi in Anopheles gambiae. Lamacchia M, Clayton JR, Wang-Sattler R, Steinmetz LM, Levashina EA, Blandin SA., 2012 – Methods Mol Biol. 923:161-76 pubmed

3. High efficiency germ-line transformation of mosquitoes. Lobo NF, Clayton JR, Fraser MJ, Kafatos FC, Collins FH., 2006 – Nat Protoc. 1(3):1312-7 pubmed

2. Immune signaling pathways regulating bacterial and malaria parasite infection of the mosquito Anopheles gambiaeMeister S, Kanzok SM, Zheng XL, Luna C, Li TR, Hoa NT, Clayton JR, White KP, Kafatos FC, Christophides GK, Zheng L., 2005 – Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 102(32):11420-5 pubmed

1. Germline transformation of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, with the piggyBac transposable element.Grossman GL, Rafferty CS, Clayton JR, Stevens TK, Mukabayire O, Benedict MQ., 2001 – Insect Mol Biol. 10(6):597-604. pubmed