Office of Research, UC Riverside
Office of Technology Commercialization

Anand Ray's Research on Insect DEET Receptors and Safe Alternatives to DEET

Dr. Anandasankar Ray


Dr. Anandasankar Ray is an Associate Professor and Associate Entomologist at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He is a recipient of several awards including Polak Young Investigator Award in recognition of innovative research and John Spangler Nicholas Prize for outstanding doctoral candidate in Experimental Zoology, Yale University.

The main focus of Dr. Ray's laboratory at UCR is to understand the molecular, neuronal and physiological basis of insect chemoreception and behavior. Most insects can detect and discriminate between a wide variety of odorants which is critical for a number of behaviors like finding food, mating.

Recently, Dr. Ray disclosed a new invention (UC Case Number 2013-403). The invention is an alternative to DEET that can be used as insect repellent that is affordable and safe for human use.

Although DEET has been used as the dominant insect repellent for decades, it has some toxicity, dissolves plastics and nylons, is useful only in high concentrations on skin and is therefore expensive to market in tropical countries that most require it. Moreover, DEET is not useful in protecting against the billions of dollars of damage caused by agricultural pests, storage pests and urban pests such as ants, cockroaches, bedbugs and termites. Several chemicals we are developing are affordable to produce in large quantities and are approved as edible to humans.

 The scope of the products that will potentially emerge from these properties are numerous.

  1. Agricultural pest repellents for application to plants, including compounds that fit an organic label.  
  2. Storage pest repellents.  
  3. Mosquito, tick and other biting arthropod repellents for humans
  4. Mosquito, tick and other biting arthropod repellents for agricultural animals and pets.  
  5. Bedbug repellents for home.
  6. Ant and cockroach repellents
  7. Termite repellents


Non-Disclosure Agreement

For licensing and commercialization, please contact:

Richard Tun, Licensing Officer, or 951-827-2212.