Export of malaria virulence proteins during liver infection

Export of malaria virulence proteins during liver infection

Project details

Malaria is a global health disease caused by infection of red blood cells by Plasmodium parasites. Malaria parasites develop silently in the liver for approximately seven days before infecting red blood cells. Transition through the liver is therefore crucial for parasites to establish a blood-stage malaria infection. Since only a few parasites are transmitted to the human from the mosquito, the best target for malaria eradication is in the liver, before blood infection takes hold.

This project will study parasite proteins exported into liver cells to understand their function in helping the parasite evade immune responses including hepatocyte apoptosis. It will involve molecular genetics, cell biology, propagation of parasites through mosquitoes in an insectary, cell culture and microscopy

About our research group

We are interested in understanding how malaria parasites infect humans and mosquitoes. A deeper understanding of these processes should allow us to develop antimalarial strategies or a vaccine. Our laboratory recapitulates the complete malaria lifecycle using mosquitoes in an insectary, allowing the study of all lifecycle stages of the malaria parasite. This includes the liver stage.




Professor Alan Cowman

Alan Cowman standing in a laboratory
Deputy Director and Joint Division Head

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