Gregory Pask

Gregory Pask

Assistant Professor of Biology
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Professor Pask teaches in the Department of Biology and the Neuroscience Program.

Educational Background

  • B.S. Muhlenberg College, 2008
  • Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2013

Teaching Interests

  • Cell and Molecular Neurobiology
  • Receptor Structure/Function
  • Sensory Biology
  • Chemical Ecology

Research Interests

My broad interests are in understanding the molecular aspects of the sensory systems that drive behavior in insects. My recent research has focused on the olfactory receptors that detect the chemical cues critical for social recognition in an ant species, Harpegnathos saltator. Our lab uses transgenic Drosophila as a decoder system to determine what pheromones each olfactory receptor can detect. We can then observe the effect of specific pheromones on ant behavior and social organization.


Selected Publications


Pask GM, Slone JD, Millar JG, Das P, Moreira JA, Zhou X, Bello J, Berger SL, Bonasio R, Desplan C, Reinberg D, Liebig J, Zwiebel LJ, Ray A. Specialized odorant receptors in social insects that detect cuticular hydrocarbon cues and candidate pheromones. Nature Commun, 2017 8 (1), 297.

Slone JD, Pask GM, Ferguson ST, Millar JG, Berger SL, Reinberg D, Liebig J, Ray A, Zwiebel LJ. Functional characterization of odorant receptors in the ponerine ant, Harpegnathos saltator. PNAS, 2017 114 (32) 8586-8591.

Pask GM, Ray A. Insect Olfactory Receptors: An Interface Between Chemistry and Biology. In: Chemosensory Transduction: Detection of Odor, Taste and other Chemostimuli. 2016. Edited by: Zufall and Munger. Elsevier. I2016:101-122.

Kumar BN, Taylor RW, Pask GM, Zwiebel LJ, Newcomb RD, Christie DL. A Conserved Aspartic Acid Is Important for Agonist (VUAA1) and Odorant/Tuning Receptor-Dependent Activation of the Insect Odorant Co-Receptor (Orco). PLOS ONE, 2013 8 (7): e70218

Pask GM, Bobkov YV, Corey EA, Ache BW, Zwiebel LJ. Blockade of Insect Odorant Receptors with Amiloride Derivatives. Chem Senses. 2013 38 (3): 221-229.

Pask GM, Romaine IM, Zwiebel LJ. The Molecular Receptive Range of a Lactone Receptor in Anopheles gambiae. Chem Senses. 2013 Jan;38(1):19-25.

Jones PL, Pask GM, Romaine IM, Taylor RW, Reid PR, Waterson AG, Sulikowski GA, Zwiebel LJ. Allosteric Antagonism of Insect Odorant Receptor Ion Channels. PLOS ONE, 2012, 7 (1): e30304

Pask GM, Jones PL, Rützler M, Rinker DC, Zwiebel LJ. Heteromeric Channels of Anopheline Odorant Receptors Exhibit Distinct Channel Properties. PLOS ONE, 2011, 6 (12): e28774

Jones PL*, Pask GM*, Rinker DC, Zwiebel LJ. Functional Agonism of Insect Odorant Receptor Ion Channels. PNAS, 2011 May 24, 108 (21): 8821-8825.

Bohbot JD*, Jones PL*, Wang G*, Pitts RJ, Pask GM, Zwiebel LJ. Conservation of Indole Responsive Odorant Receptors in Mosquitoes Reveals an Ancient Olfactory Trait. Chem Senses, 2011 Jan;36(2): 149-60.