Principal Investigator

Professor Harrington is interested in the biology, ecology and behavior of disease vectors; global health and epidemiology. She is the Director of the CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases. Harrington offers courses in Medical and Veterinary Entomology (ENTOM 3520), a non-majors course Plagues and People (BIO&SOC/ ENTOM 2100) and teaches the malaria module of Introduction to Global Health (NS 2060). She advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of entomology, ecology and evolutionary biology, veterinary medicine, bio-mathematics, comparative biomedical science, animal science, and biology and society.

Post-Graduate Researchers

AlexAlexandra Amaro joined the lab in January 2016. She earned her PhD at Cornell in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular biology in 2009 focused on the cellular cytoskeleton during mitosis. She continued expanding her experience in a virology lab, a biotechnology company for which her work contributed to a patent for a therapeutic approach to treat Huntington’s Disease, and a lab interested in RNA processing in the chloroplast of plants and algae. With a longstanding interest in virology (the biotechnology company also acted as a partner in development of field diagnostic kits used for Lassa Fever in Africa), she is excited to come to the Harrington lab to work on the vector for Dengue, Yellow Fever, and other viral diseases. Her focus in the lab is on validating candidate seminal fluid proteins in mosquito using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Outside of lab, Alex enjoys walking the trails of the local parks, dancing, and travel.
yassiYassi Hafezi joined the lab in April 2016. She is interested in the reproductive fitness of insects that are genetically engineered for pest management. She is a joint postdoc between the Harrington, Clark and Wolfner laboratories at Cornell. She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from U.C. Berkeley in 2011. Her past research was on mechanisms that regulate tissue and cellular growth and cell competition in the Drosophila ovary and larval imaginal discs. Yassi loves dogs, camping and tea.



Garrett League joined the lab in May 2017 upon completing his PhD in Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. His dissertation work focused on larval and adult stage immune and circulatory physiology in the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Garrett is interested in all things mosquitoes, particularly questions related to development, reproduction, and immunity, and will be exploring these and related topics for his work on mating behavior and seminal fluid proteins in the lab. In his downtime, Garrett enjoys hiking, writing, art, and fiddling around on his guitar.

Research and Program Support


Sylvie Pitcher joined the Harrington Lab in January 2009. She primarily works as a lab manager for the Harrington lab, but enjoys being part of the numerous experiments that go on in the lab. When she isn’t working Sylvie enjoys spending time with her three small children, and wonderful husband just enjoying life.

 Emily Mader joined the Harrington lab in July 2017, as the Program Manager for the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases. She earned her Master of Public Health and Master of Public Policy degrees from the University of Utah in 2013. Prior to joining the Harrington lab, Emily worked in chronic disease prevention and quality of care in the primary care setting. In her spare time, Emily enjoys cycling, xc skiing, traveling, and hanging out with her husband and cat.

Graduate Students

Ethan Degner joined the lab in the fall of 2013. He hails from south-central Minnesota, and he earned his B.A. in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. He After graduating, he spent 3 months in Panama investigating leafcutter ant foraging behavior. During this time he became excited about entomology. He also became aware of many insect-borne diseases and parasites. He chose to study medical entomology in the hopes of conducting research that will improve human health. When he can find spare time, Ethan enjoys bowhunting, fishing, playing basketball, pub trivia, and karaoke.


TalyaTalya Shragai joined the lab in August 2015. A native of Berkeley, California, she is fascinated by the intersection of anthropogenic change and vector biology. In 2014 she earned her B.S. in biology and B.A. in international development studies from UCLA. Since graduating she has worked on several projects including research on climate change and chipmunk behavior in Yosemite, CA and a study of waterbird response to human impact in Bahía de Kino, Mexico. Her work in Dr. Harrington’s lab will focus on the invasive vector mosquito Aedes albopictus and identifying the factors that make its invasion successful. In her free time Talya enjoys perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe, re-watching Arrested Development, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Kara Fikrig joined the lab in August of 2017. She is interested in the ways in which the ecology of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus can inform public health interventions. Her interest in insects began as a child, but was solidified as an undergraduate at Yale University while working towards her BS in ecology and evolutionary biology. Kara spent one summer studying beetle natural history in Panama. Thereafter, she decided to specify in medical entomology, leading her to study Ae. aegypti the following two summers in Dominica and then in Australia. In an effort to ensure that her scientific questions remain relevant to human health, she completed a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology of microbial diseases as a part of a joint BS/MPH program at Yale. In her free time, Kara enjoys riding horses, playing polo and soccer, and hiking with her adopted mutt from Argentina.


Undergraduate Students

 Erica TennEricaant a Senior from Wisconsin who studies Human Biology, Health and Society with a Global Health minor. She is interested in understanding mosquito attractants and behavior in the context of controlling the spread of disease. In the future, Erica plans to become a physician. In her free time, she enjoys being with family and friends, playing badminton, swing dancing, and practicing Spanish.

 KevinKevin Pritts is a Senior from Trumansburg, New York majoring in Entomology and minoring in Plant Science and International Development. He joined the Harrington Lab senior year of high school and has been volunteering over the winter breaks. He hopes to pursue Medical Entomology, specifically the spread of tropical vector-borne diseases. In his spare time, he enjoys to tend to his beehives, rock climb, go skijoring and various other outdoor activities.
 Ella Jacobs joined the lab in January 2017 and is a Junior from Chicago. She is majoring in Entomology and minoring in Global Health & Infectious Diseases and hopes to pursue a career in Vector Biology, specifically in the realm of genetically modified insects to assist in disease control. In her free time she enjoys reading, doing yoga, and skiing.

Grant Fabrizio joined the lab in June 2017 and is Junior from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is majoring in Global and Public Health Science and minoring in Health Policy. He hopes to one day attend medical school and work internationally on infectious diseases. In his spare time, he enjoys running, fishing, and surfing.

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