Matthew W. Turnbull

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Phone: 864 656-5038
FAX: 864 656-5065


  • Ph.D.: 2001, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  • M.A.: 1999, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va
  • B.S.: 1994, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va

Research Interests

  • My lab focuses on the role of gap junctions in co-ordinating cellular and tissue behaviors in insects. For the past several years this work has predominantly involved the elucidation of the behavior of these channels in pest lepidopterans, including the role and biology of functional gap junction homologues encoded by the polydnaviruses associated with ichneumonid parasitoids. More recently, our interest in gap junctions is expanding from a previous focus on their role in immune responses to include additional physiological systems, particularly ontogenic patterning of larval and adult tissues. A better understanding of the role of gap junctions in insect biology should provide both novel approaches for biotechnological or pharmacological manipulation of pest insects and insight into fundamental developmental and evolutionary processes.

Selected Publications

  • Webb, B.A., Strand, M.R., DeBorde, S.N., Beck, M., Hilgarth, R.S., Kadash, K., Kroemer, J.A., Lindstrom, K.G., Rattandadechakul, W., Shelby, K.S., Thoetkiattikul, L., Turnbull, M.W., and Witherell, R.A. (2006) Polydnavirus genomes reflect their dual roles as mutualists and pathogens. Virology. 347, 160-174.
  • Turnbull, M.W., Volkoff, A-N, Webb, B.A., and Phelan, P. (2005). Functional gam junction genes are endoded by insect viruses. Current Biology. 14(13), R491-492.
  • Turnbull, M.W., *Martin, S.B. and Webb, B.A. (2004). Quantitative analysis of hemocyte morphological abnormalities associated with Campoletis sonorensis parasitization. Journal of Insect Science. 4:11 (15 pgs). (online:
  • Dupas, S., Turnbull, M.W. and Webb, B.A. (2003). Diversifying selection in a parasitoid's symbiotic virus among genes involved in inhibiting host immunity. Immunogenetics. 55(6), 351-361.
  • Turnbull, M.W. and Webb, B.A.. (2002). Perspectives on polydnavirus origins and evolution. Advances in Virus Research. 58, 203-253.

Recent Courses

  • ENT 870: Insect Physiology and Molecular Biology
  • ENT 495/695: Insect Biotechnology

Undergraduate Students

  • Amy Phillips (Genetics)
  • Jesse Long (Biological Sciences)

Graduate Students

  • Daniel Hasegawa (PhD, Biological Sciences)
  • Jinbo Song (PhD, Entomology)Angela Rivera

Post Doctoral Students

  • Dr. Kaijun Luo

Current Funding


Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Society for Virology
  • Entomological Society of America
  • Sigma Xi
  • Society of Invertebrate Pathology