Professor Sassan Asgari


School of the Environment
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. In the Asgari Lab, we are interested in exploring these evolutionary adaptations, in particular in regards to mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue virus. The major areas of research in the lab 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


  • Graduate Certificate, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide
  • Masters (Coursework) of Agricultural Studies, University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Science, Isfahan University of Technology


View all Publications


View all Grants


View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Bishop, Cameron and Asgari, Sassan (2024). Use of antibiotics to eliminate Wolbachia from mosquitoes and cell culture. Wolbachia: Methods and Protocols. (pp. 147-156) edited by Ann M. Fallon. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3553-7_9

  • Asgari, Sassan, Bideshi, Dennis K., Bigot, Yves and Federici, Brian A. (2021). Ascoviruses (Ascoviridae). Encyclopedia of virology. (pp. 724-731) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier/Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-809633-8.21548-3

  • Asgari, Sassan (2018). microRNAs as regulators of insect host–pathogen interactions and immunity. Crop protection. (pp. 19-45) edited by Guy Smagghe. 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. Arthropod vector: controller of disease transmission, volume 1: vector microbiome and innate immunity of arthropods. (pp. 173-183) edited by Stephen K. Wikel, Serap Aksoy and George Dimopoulos. London, United Kingdom: 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. Progress in Mosquito Research. (pp. 189-222) edited by Alexander S. Raikhel. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/bs.aiip.2016.04.001

  • Asgari, Sassan (2016). Role of small RNAs in Wolbachia-mosquito interactions. Non-coding RNAs and inter-kingdom communication. (pp. 103-115) edited by Ana Lúcia Leitão and Francisco J. Enguita. 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. Insect molecular biology and ecology. (pp. 121-159) edited by Klaus H. Hoffmann. Boca Raton, Florida United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/b17876

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

  • Asgari, Sassan (2012). Venoms from endoparasitoids. Parasitoid viruses: symbionts and pathogens. (pp. 217-231) edited by Nancy E. Beckage and Jean-Michel Drezen. 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. Virus taxonomy: Ninth report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. (pp. 147-150) edited by Andrew M. Q. King, Michael J. Adams, Eric B. Carstens and Elliot J. Lefkowitz. 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. Insect Virology. (pp. 347-365) edited by Sassan Asgari and Karyn N. Johnson. Norfolk, United Kingdom: Caister Academic Press.

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

  • Schmidt, Otto, Asgari, Sassan, Beck, Markus and Theopold, Ulrich (2000). Host defence manipulation by parasitoid wasps and the problem of assessing host specificity. The Hymenoptera: evolution, biodiversity and biological control. (pp. 29-37) edited by Andrew Austin and Mark Dowton. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: CSIRO.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision