Michael J. Conway, Ph.D.

Michael J. Conway, Ph.D. portrait



Michael J. Conway is an Associate Professor of Microbiology in the Foundational Sciences Discipline at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. He has developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the molecular biology, virology, medical entomology, and evolution of arthropod-borne pathogens such as dengue and Zika viruses. The development of conventional vaccines for mosquito-borne flaviviruses has been difficult due to the phenomenon of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) and the co-circulation and emergence of related viruses. Vector control strategies also have limitations that prevent eradication of disease transmitting arthropods, and targeted treatment options are limited. The Conway laboratory focuses on identifying vector proteins and pathways that are involved in the transmission of arthropod-borne pathogens. Investigation of pathogen-vector-host interactions will lead to the development of transmission-blocking vaccines and therapeutics. Research in the Conway lab currently relies on both in vitro and in vivo approaches, including human subjects research. Current research projects include identification and characterization of mosquito saliva proteins that modify flavivirus dissemination in the vertebrate host, identifying host blood factors that modify flavivirus acquisition in the mosquito, and developing technologies to diagnose and interfere with vector-borne pathogens.  


  • B.S. 2005, Microbiology and Chemistry, Northern Michigan University
  • Ph.D. 2010, Microbiology and Immunology, Pennsylvania State University-College of Medicine
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship 2013, Internal Medicine Infectious Disease, School of Medicine, Yale University

Selected Publications

Tree, M.O., Londono-Renteria, B., Troupin, A., Clark, K.M., Colpitts, T.M., and Michael J. Conway. 2019. Dengue virus reduces expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 to facilitate replication in Aedes aegypti. Sci Rep. 9(1):6352.

Lamb, L.E., Bartolone, S.N., Tree, M.O., Conway, M.J., Rossignol, J., Smith, C.P., and Michael B. Chancellor. 2018. Rapid Detection of Zika Virus in Urine Samples and Infected Mosquitoes by Reverse Transcription-Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification. Sci Rep. 8(1):3803.

Conway, M.J., Londono-Renteria, B., Troupin, A., Fikrig, E., and Tonya M. Colpitts. 2016. Aedes aegypti D7 Saliva Protein Binds and Inhibits Dengue Virus Infection. PLoS Neg Trop Dis. 10(9):e0004941.

Tree, M.O., McKellar, D.R., Kieft, K.J., Watson, A.M., Ryman, K.D., and Michael J. Conway. 2016. Insect Specific Flavivirus Infection is Restricted by Mammalian Innate Immunity. Virology. 497:81-91.

Londono-Renteria, B., Troupin, A., Conway, M.J., Vesely, D., Ledizet, M., Roundy, C.M., Cloherty, E., Jameson, S., VanLandingham, D., Higgs, S., Fikrig, E., and Tonya M. Colpitts. 2015. Dengue Virus Infection of Aedes aegypti Requires a Cysteine Rich Venom Protein. PLoS Pathogens. 11(10):e1005202.

Conway, M.J., Watson, A.M., Colpitts, T.M., Dragovic, S.M., Li., Z., Wang, P., Feitosa, F., Shepherd, D.T, Ryman, K.D., Klimstra, W.B., Anderson, J.F., and Erol Fikrig. 2014. Mosquito Saliva Serine Protease Enhances Dissemination of Dengue Virus in the Host. J. Virol. 88(1): 164-75.