Luke Alphey works in the emerging field of genetic pest management, focusing particularly on mosquitoes. Before moving to The Pirbright Institute in Feb 2014 he was the Research Director of Oxitec Ltd, a spin-out company from Oxford University that he co-founded in 2002. Oxitec aims to control insect pests by use of engineered sterile males of the pest insect species (‘RIDL males’). Oxitec successfully conducted the world’s first outdoor experiments with a GM insect in the USA in 2006, and in 2010 showed that a wild mosquito population could be suppressed by this genetics-based method.
Professor Alphey’s earlier career focused on basic science, using Drosophila (fruit flies) as a model system, latterly at Oxford University. Professor Alphey was selected as a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum in 2008 and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Innovator of the Year 2014.