Denis Voronin, PhD

Position: Staff Scientist

Education: MS, Biology, Novosibirsk State University, Russia
PhD, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Novosibirsk, Russia

Denis trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine before joining the New York Blood Center where he became Assistant Member of the Cellular Microbiology Research Program.

Denis is focused on delineating the essential cellular processes that define symbiotic Wolbachia-host interactions in both filarial nematodes and mosquitos.

Filarial Nematodes

The Wolbachia bacterium has an endosymbiotic relationship with its host, Brugia Malayi. Elimination of the symbiont from the filarial worm leads to the death of the adult worm, rendering Wolbachia an attractive target for interventional tools to combat filariasis. In this project, Denis is focused on identifying Wolbachia-controlled miRNAs and their filarial gene targets. He is also validating the involvement of a specific subset of B. malayi genes in the mutualistic Wolbachia-Brugia association. Identification of drug targets will allow for in vitro and in vivo testing for their ability to affect the fitness of both Wolbachia  and the worm.


Denis also explores the ability of Wolbachia-controlled mosquito microRNA to impact  Zika virus infection in vector cells. This project will elucidate the mechanisms underlying Wolbachia-mediated interference of arboviruses,  and help identify therapeutic targets to block arbovirus infection and dissemination in humans.

Denis Voronin, Ph.D.

Selected Publications

Voronin, D#, Tricoche, N, Peguero, R, Kaminska, AM, Ghedin, E, Sakanari, JA,
Lustigman, S (2024) Repurposed Drugs That Activate Autophagy in Filarial Worms Act
as Effective. Macrofilaricides. Pharmaceutics 2024, 16 256.
# – Corresponding author

Brent Edwards, Elodie Ghedin, Denis Voronin# (2023). Wolbachia interferes with
Zika virus replication by hijacking cholesterol metabolism in mosquito cells. Microbiol
Spectr. 2023 Oct 9:e0218023. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02180-23 PMID: 37811984.
# – Corresponding author

Sounart H#, Voronin D#, Masarapu Y, Chung M, Saarenpää S, Ghedin* E,
Giacomello* S (2023) Miniature spatial transcriptomics for studying parasite-
endosymbiont relationships at the micro scale. Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 14;14(1):6500. PMID: 37838705.
# – Equal contribution

Voronin D#, Schnall E, Grote A, Jawahar S, Ali W, Unnasch TR, Ghedin E, Lustigman
S. Pyruvate produced by Brugia spp. via glycolysis is essential for maintaining the
mutualistic association between the parasite and its endosymbiont, Wolbachia. PLoS
Pathog. 2019 Sep;15(9):e1008085. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008085. eCollection
2019 Sep. PubMed PMID: 31568486; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6791551
# – Corresponding author

Voronin D, Cook DA, Steven A, Taylor MJ. Autophagy regulates Wolbachia
populations across diverse symbiotic associations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012
Jun 19;109(25):E1638- 46. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1203519109. Epub 2012 May 29.
PubMed PMID: 22645363; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3382551

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