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Michael Roe

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor

Insect Toxicology and Physiological Genomics

106C Dearstyne Entomology Campus Box 7647 3230 West Ligon Street North Carolina State University Raleigh,NC 27695-7647


R. Michael Roe’s laboratory is working in the following project areas: (a) Development of diagnostic technologies for the management of insect resistance to traditional and transgenic crops and the management of insect vector borne-diseases, (b) Using comparative quantitative transcriptomics to determine the mechanism of bollworm resistance to GMO corn and cotton, (c) The impact of crop GMOs on the cotton insect microbiome and the evolution of insect resistance, (d) The development of novel textile structure for plant protection from insects, drought and cold, (e) The development of mechanical (non- chemical), sprayable mechanical insecticides for Ag production, vector control, and head lice, (f) Molecular biology of tick and mite reproduction and heme-binding proteins, (g) Development of insect repellents for personal protection from mosquito and tick borne diseases (a new NCSU startup company), (h) The development of new textile structure for chemical-free bite proof clothing (a second new NCSU startup company), (i) Prototyping and field evaluation of the next generation combat shirt, (j) Molecular biology of tick olfaction and IR detection by the Haller’s organ, (k) Endocrine regulation of the tick microbiome and bacterial transovarial movement, (l) Role of the microbiome in the transmission of scrub typhus in chiggers, (m) The development of mechanical (non-chemical) mosquito nets for Africa, (n) The development of mechanical insecticides as residual sprays for the control of malaria and Zika mosquitoes, and (o) the impact of environmental chemicals including pesticides like DEET, Fipronil and permethrin on global gene expression in primary human liver and the role of long non-coding RNAs. Cross-disciplinary training is provided in Entomology, Physiology, Toxicology, Chemistry and Textile Science and offering degrees in each of these programs with minors in Biotechnology. The laboratory is organized into protein chemistry, molecular biology and analytical chemistry and collaborates with several other labs on campus. The program is also active in technology transfer, obtaining patents and licensing technology, and is engaged in a number of active collaborations with private industry in different aspects of the research listed.


  1. Development of immunochemical, nucleic acid and bioassay-based diagnostic technologies for the management of insect resistance to traditional and transgenic crops, the management of insect vector borne-diseases and other applications;
  2. Molecular biology of tick and mite development, metamorphosis, reproduction and heme-binding, storage proteins;
  3. Research, development and organic chemistry of polymers for the stabilization and delivery of therapeutic proteins, nucleic acids and pesticides to their site of action in animal and plant systems;
  4. Study of the regulation of insect digestion;
  5. Transition state analog chemistry of insect metabolic systems including esterases, epoxide hydrolases and juvenile hormone synthesis;
  6. Transcriptomics of sucking pests important in agriculture, e.g., plant and stink bugs, and urban and medically important pests; development of high throughput RNAi screening methods; and screening for the development of novel insecticide targets;
  7. Development of novel traditional and transgenic pest control technologies;
  8. Development of insect repellents;
  9. Neurogenomics of tick and mite sensory systems and host interaction;
  10. Development of environmentally friendly herbicides, and
  11. Use of textiles in applied entomology. The laboratory is highly collaborative with other university groups and industry, interested in advancing basic knowledge and its application to solve practical problems, technology transfer and product development, and scholarship, e.g., currently producing a new textbook, Biology of Ticks.


Publications List

Dr. Roe’s Mosquito Repellant Discovery


BS, Zoology, Chemistry Minor, Louisiana State University (1974)
MS, Physiology, Biochemistry Minor, Louisiana State University (1976)
Ph.D, Entomology, Nuclear Science Minor, Louisiana State University (1981)
NIH Fellow, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University California at Davis (1983)