Max Scott. Originally from Perth, Australia, Max received his BSc(hons) from the University of Western Australia (Biochemistry) and PhD from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston in Molecular Cell Biology. He is a Professor in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Postdoctoral Fellows

Amarish Yadav. Amarish’s doctoral work at Banaras Hindu University in India was on the role of scribble in mitochondrial function and tumor progression in Drosophila melanogaster. He joined the lab in December 2018 and is working on CRISPR/Cas9 genetic systems in Drosophila suzukii.

Tatiana Basika. Tatiana is working on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic methods for population suppression of Cochliomyia hominivorax  in Uruguay. She  joined the lab in April 2021. Tatiana has a MSc. in Biology from PEDECIBA, UdelaR (Montevideo, Uruguay) and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UFRGS (Porto Alegre, Brazil).

Rossina Pelaez. From Montevideo, Uruguay, Rossina is working with Tatiana on gene drive systems for C. hominivorax. She joined the lab in April 2021.  Rossina obtained her MSc and PhD degrees in Cellular and Molecular Biology from from PEDECIBA, UdelaR (Montevideo, Uruguay) working at the Molecular and Human Genetics Laboratory at Institut Pasteur of Montevideo.

Juan Wulff. Juan previously studied neuropeptides, G-protein coupled receptors and chemoreceptors.His current goal is to use CRISPR/Cas9 tools for the functional characterization of genes that are likely important for blowfly behavior such as host seeking. Juan is from Argentina and joined the lab in September 2022.

Kalindu Ramyasoma Hewawasam. From Galle, Sri Lanka, Kalindu previously developed transgenic dengue virus-resistant Aedes aegypti mosquito. He joined the lab in August 2022 and is working on developing and evaluating Y-linked genetic systems for the genetic control of Drosophila suzukii.

Graduate Students

Alexis Kriete. Alexis received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 and spent several years working as a lab technician at Princeton University. She started a PhD in Entomology in 2019 and joined the Scott lab in the same year. Alexis is interested in studying the effects of antibiotic use in L. cuprina and in using CRISPR to target components of the sex determination system.

Sarah Hudadoff. Sarah grew up near Atlanta, Georgia. She received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019, and in the same year began her doctoral studies in Genetics at NCSU. She joined the Scott lab in 2020. Sarah is interested in studying the sex determination system in Lucilia and in developing X-shredder strains for a genetic control program.

Rachel Laminack. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Rachel received her B.S. in Plant Biology from NC State University in 2020. After working in a molecular diagnostics lab for a year, Rachel came back to NC State to start her Ph.D. in Entomology and Genetics. Her research focuses on epigenetics and functional genomics, specifically on long non-coding RNAs in Lucilia species.

Ariel Tarrand. After completing a B.S. in horticultural science at the University of Florida in 2021, Ariel spent a year working at the UF Plant Diagnostic Center before starting her PhD at NC State. She joined the Scott lab in 2023 after being exposed to their work through the Genetics and Genomics Scholars program, and is now pursuing a doctorate in Entomology. Ariel is interested in gene drive technology and is currently researching CRISPR-based suppression drives in Drosophila suzukii.


Es_Obama_cropEsther Belikoff. Manager, Insect transgenesis facility. Originally from Houston, TX., Esther received her BS from Columbia University. Prior to joining NCSU, Esther worked for Bruce Alberts at UCSF and Kate Beckingham at Rice University. Esther works part-time (50%) on Scott lab projects. She has contributed to the male-only Lucilia, Lucilia dosage compensation, Lucilia larval debridement therapy  and male-only D. suzukii projects.

Aki Yamamoto. Aki received his Doctor of Science from Tokyo Metropolitan University in Japan and worked in several laboratories in RTP as post doc or staff, including the MacKay lab where he made many important contributions using the DGRP resource. Aki joined the lab in 2019 and has been  working on D. suzukii population suppression using male-only strains.

Undergraduate Students

The undergraduate students assist with rearing blowflies and Drosophila strains.

Past Lab Members