Allison Hansen Lab

Welcome to the Hansen Lab!

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The Hansen lab is interested in ecological and evolutionary genomics of insect-microbe interactions. Our lab teases apart the molecular mechanisms that underpin insect-microbe
co-evolution using comparative and functional genomics in an evolutionary framework.

Broad objectives our lab explores are:

1) Determine how microbes affect eukaryotic metabolisms, and how their individual metabolisms mechanistically interact together.

2) Identify which microbe genes and small RNAs are responsible for producing the extended insect host phenotype that may increase insect fitness in certain environments.

   Our lab uses insect and microbe genomics together with field and laboratory trials to provide novel insights into the complexity and dynamics of insect-microbe symbioses.

Hansen lab wiki access LINK

     Hansen lab BLAST Server

Lab News



Hansen lab in the news!!!
Team nebulizes aphids to knock down gene expression


Congrats Hansen lab honors undergrad Isabel Skidmore for getting her first author paper, The evolutionary development of plant-feeding insects and their nutritional endosymbionts, accepted for publication in Insect Science!!                       


Congrats Hansen lab honors undergrad Alex Riley and graduate student Dohyup Kim for getting their paper, The Genome Sequence of Candidatus Carsonella ruddii strain BC, a Nutritional Endosymbiont of Bactericera cockerelli, accepted for publication in Genome Announcements!!


Congrats Hansen lab undergrad Siyuan (Lily) Cheng for getting accepted to Yale graduate school in the the Molecular Cell Biology-Genetics-Development track of the Yale Combined Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences!!! Good luck Lily, you will be missed!


Colleagues Jake Russell, Kerry Oliver, and the Hansen lab got their article, Band-aids for Buchnera and B-vitamins for all, just accepted in Molecular Ecology!!

Congrats Hansen lab graduate student, Margaret Thairu and honors undergrad Isabel Skidmore for getting their cutting-edge functional genomics paper, Efficacy of RNAi knockdown using aerosolized siRNAs bound to nanoparticles in three different aphid species, accepted in Insect Molecular Biology


Congrats lab for working hard in the lab and winning awards and fellowships from the School of Integrative Biology and Department of Entomology this academic year!


Left to right:
Siyuan (Lily) Cheng
: iBio summer internship

Margaret Thairu: The Francis M. and Harlie M. Clark Summer Fellowship, Lebus Award, SIB Teaching Assistant Award

Isabel Skidmore: iBio summer internship

Dohyup Kim: Lebus Award


Three new undergraduate researchers join the lab this semester. Welcome Isabel Skidmore, Alex Riley, and Eric Lamoutte!


Congratulations to Siyuan (Lily) Cheng, an undergraduate researcher that started in the Hansen lab this Fall semester 2015.  She was awarded the James Scholar Preble Research Award to help fund her independent undergraduate research on the evolution of Buchnera small RNAs.


Graduate Dohyup Kim wins the Fred H. Schmidt Summer Scholars award and Undergraduate Amy Kmak wins the Camp Family Undergraduate Student Research + iBio Summer internship.


Our new paper in collaboration with Casteel C.L. (new faculty member at UC Davis, Plant Pathology) was just accepted in Chemical Ecology!

Casteel, C.L. and A.K. Hansen. 2014 Accepted. Evaluating insect-microbiomes at the plant-insect interface. Journal of Chemical Ecology. in press.


LINK to paper

Our new paper in collaboration with Degnan, P.H. (new faculty member at UIUC, Microbiology) on conserved Buchnera small RNAs and differential protein expression was just accepted in ISME! 

Hansen, A.K. and P.H. Degnan. In press. Widespread Expression of Conserved Small RNAs in Small Symbiont Genomes. ISME J.


Congratulations to Thor Hansen, undergraduate student in the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has won the Robert H. Davis Undergraduate Research Prize for 2014! Great job Thor!


Move in day to assigned lab space in MH 365

Molecular Ecology early release:

Impact of microbial symbionts on host plant utilization by herbivorus insects

� 2013 Hansen Lab - Site Map