- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Insect Toxicology & Physiology
Dr. Gross’s research focuses on controlling arthropod pests that have a significant impact on human health, animal health, and agriculture. This includes the discovery and mode of action of natural and synthetic pesticides at underutilized targets (GPCRs and ion channels). Additional research interests include investigating the mechanisms involved in the host-vector interaction.
A consequence of widespread, and sometimes improper, use of chemical insecticides is the ability of insects to develop resistance to various forms of pesticide chemistry. Dr. Gross works on understanding the molecular mechanisms that are involved in insecticide/acaricide resistance with the goal of helping growers, producers, and public health officials make informed pest control decisions. Additional research efforts include the discovery of novel synthetic and/or natural insecticides/acaricides, by focusing on the use of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), GPCR-related pathways, and ion channels as underutilized targets for insecticide/acaricide development. He is also investigating the molecular mechanisms that are involved in tick-associated red meat allergy and the ability of ticks to evade the mammalian immune response during feeding.