Click here to see a list of Ke Dong's publications on Google Scholar.

Dong Lab


Over the past decade, we made major contributions to understand the molecular action of pyrethroid insecticides on sodium channels, and the molecular mechanism of knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids. We have also made significant progress on elucidating the role of a mysterious cation channel, DSC1, in neurophysiology and neurotoxicology. The DSC1 gene was first identified more than three decades ago, but the function of this channel was unknown until recently. The DSC1 channel is present in all insect species, but is absent in vertebrates and a potential target for new selective insecticides. In 2014, we initiated a new research project to elucidate the molecular basis of pyrethroid repellency in Drosophila and mosquitoes. This new project was recently funded by NIH.

Current assignment: Teaching 25% | Research 75%

Program Description


I teach Ent. 850 (Molecular Entomology) with Suzanne Thiem; Insect Toxicology seminar with Bob Hollingworth, John Wise and David Mota Sanchez; and two 90-minite lectures on sodium channels for PHM 827 (Physiology and Pharmacology of Excitable Cells).


Two major objectives of my current research program are 1) to elucidate the mode of action of insecticides and the molecular mechanisms of insecticide resistance; and 2) to identify new insecticide targets for the development of safer insecticides. My colleagues (one research specialist, one research assistant Prof., one Ph.D. student, one postdoc associate, two visiting scholars, and one undergraduate assistant) and I are taking a combination of molecular, electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches to accomplish these goals. 


  • Mode of Action of Insecticides
  • Insect Ion Channels
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Insect Olfaction

Professional Experience

  • 2007-Present - Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 2002-2007 - Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1996-2002 - Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1995-1996 - Research Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University
  • 1994-1995 - Research Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University

Selected Publications

  • Wang, L, Nomura Y., Du, Y., Liu N. Zhorov BS. and Dong K. (2015) A mutation in the intracellular loop III/IV of mosquito sodium channel synergizes the effect of mutations in helix IIS6 on pyrethroid resistance. Mol. Pharmacol. 106:93–100.
  • Du, Y., Nomura, Y., Zhorov, BS., Dong, K. (2015) Rotational Symmetry of two pyrethroid receptor sites in the mosquito sodium channel. Mol. Pharmacol. 88:273-80.
  • Gao R, Du Y, Wang L, Nomura Y, Satar G, Gordon D, Gurevitz M, Goldin AL, and Dong K (2014) Sequence variations at I260 and A1731 contribute to persistent currents in Drosophila sodium channels. Neurosci. 268C:297-308.
  • Dong K, Du Y, Rinkevich FD, Nomura Y, Xu P, Wang L, Silver K and Zhorov BS (2014) Molecular biology of insect sodium channels and pyrethroid resistance. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 50:1-17
  • Du Y., Nomura Y., Satar G., Hu, Z., Nauen, R., He, S., Zhorov, B.S. and Dong K. (2013) Molecular evidence for dual pyrethroid-receptor sites on a mosquito sodium channel. Proc. 4 Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 110:11785-90.
  • Zhang T, Wang Z, Wang L, Luo N, Jiang L, Liu Z, Wu C-F, Dong K (2013) Role of the DSC1 channel in regulating neuronal excitability in Drosophila melanogaster: extending nervous system stability under stress. PLoS Genetics 9(3):e1003327.
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