Professor Sassan Asgari


School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52043


Insect host-pathogen interactions

In the evolutionary arm race between insects and their pathogens, insects as hosts continuously evolve traits to inhibit pathogen replication, and in turn pathogens evolve mechanisms to evade their hosts’ immune responses. Prof Asgari’s group is interested in exploring these evolutionary adaptations, in particular in regards to mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue virus. The major areas of his research are:

  1. Exploring pro- and anti-viral factors in mosquitoes using molecular approaches, including next generation sequencing and bioinformatics analyses
  2. Investigating the role of non-coding RNAs (including microRNAs) in insect biology and host-pathogen interactions.
  3. Understanding the effect of insect microbiome on replication of viruses.

For more information, visit his lab's website:


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Adelaide
  • Master of Agriculture, The University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Science, Isfahan University of Technology


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Asgari, Sassan (2018). microRNAs as regulators of insect host–pathogen interactions and immunity. In Guy Smagghe (Ed.), Crop protection (pp. 19-45) Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/bs.aiip.2018.07.004

  • Asgari, Sassan (2017). Host-microbe interactions: a case for Wolbachia dialogue. In Stephen K. Wikel, Serap Aksoy and George Dimopoulos (Ed.), Arthropod vector: controller of disease transmission, volume 1: vector microbiome and innate immunity of arthropods (pp. 173-183) London: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-805350-8.00010-6

  • Hussain, M., Etebari, K. and Asgari, S. (2016). Functions of small RNAs in mosquitoes. In Alexander S. Raikhel (Ed.), Progress in Mosquito Research (pp. 189-222) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/bs.aiip.2016.04.001

  • Asgari, Sassan (2016). Role of small RNAs in Wolbachia-mosquito interactions. In Ana Lúcia Leitão and Francisco J. Enguita (Ed.), Non-coding RNAs and Inter-kingdom Communication (pp. 103-115) Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39496-1_6

  • Asgari, Sassan and Hussain, Mazhar (2015). A glance on the role of miRNAs in insect life. In Klaus H. Hoffmann (Ed.), Insect molecular biology and ecology (pp. 121-159) Boca Raton, Florida United States: CRC Press.

  • Asgari, Sassan (2014). Epigenetic modifications underlying symbiont–host interactions. In Daisuke Yamamoto (Ed.), Epigenetic shaping of sociosexual interactions: from plants to humans (pp. 253-276) Maryland Heights, MO, United States: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-800222-3.00010-3

  • Asgari, Sassan (2012). Venoms from endoparasitoids. In Nancy E. Beckage and Jean-Michel Drezen (Ed.), Parasitoid viruses: symbionts and pathogens (pp. 217-231) London, U.K.: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-384858-1.00018-7

  • Bigot, Y., Asgari, S., Bideshi, D., Cheng, X. W., Federici, B. A. and Renault, S (2011). Family Ascoviridae. In Andrew M. Q. King, Michael J. Adams, Eric B. Carstens and Elliot J. Lefkowitz (Ed.), Virus taxonomy: Ninth report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (pp. 147-150) San Diego, CA, United States: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-384684-6.00011-2

  • Asgari, Sassan and Sullivan, Christopher S. (2010). Role of MicroRNAs as regulators of host-virus interactions. In Sassan Asgari and Karyn N. Johnson (Ed.), Insect Virology 1 ed. (pp. 347-365) Norfolk, United Kingdom: Caister Academic Press.

  • Asgari, S. (2007). Endoparasitoid venom proteins as modulators of host immunity and development. In Rivers, D. and Yoder, J. (Ed.), Recent Advances in the Biochemistry, Toxicity, and Mode of Action of Parasitic Wasp Venoms (pp. 57-73) India: Research Signpost.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Asgari, Sassan (2013). Utilization of Host Micrornas by Wolbachia to Facilitate Colonization of the Dengue Vector Aedes Aegypti. In: Abstracts: EMBO Conference on Molecular and Population Biology of Mosquitoes and Other Disease Vectors: From Basic Vector Biology to Disease Control. EMBO Conference on Molecular and Population Biology of Mosquitoes and Other Disease Vectors: From Basic Vector Biology to Disease Control, Kolymbari, Greece, (424-424). 15 -19 July 2013. doi:10.1179/2047772413Z.000000000160

  • Asgari, S., Zhang, G., Lu, Z. and Jiang, H.L. (2004). A serine proteinase homolog venom protein inhibits activation of prophenoloxidase in insect haemolymph. In: J. LaSalle, M. Patten and M.Zalucki, XXII International Congress of Entomology. Entomology Strength in Diversity, Brisbane, Australia, (125-125). 15-21 August.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision