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Omar Akbari is an associate professor in the Cell and Developmental Biology Section, within the Division of Biological Sciences, at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the basic genetics and physiology of mosquitoes with the overarching goal of developing innovative, novel, creative, synthetic biology-inspired genetic control technologies for reducing the burden of mosquito-borne diseases. Yellow fever, zika, dengue fever, and malaria together infect hundreds of millions of humans worldwide, killing millions each year. There are currently no effective vaccines for many mosquito-vectored pathogens, and mosquitoes are rapidly evolving resistance to commonly used pesticides. His work develops approaches that can lead to long-lasting solutions. Before joining the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Akbari was an assistant professor of entomology in the Center for Infectious Disease Vector Research at the University of California, Riverside. He received BS and MS degrees in biotechnology and a PhD in cell and molecular biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.