Topic > Infectious Diseases > Malaria
Basic Malaria Research
We acquire new functional and mechanistic insight into processes linked to the essential biology of malaria blood stage parasites. These parasite forms are responsible for all malaria-related morbidity and mortality as well as for the transmission of parasites between humans via the mosquito vector. We place particular emphasis on
(1) investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying parasite-induced red blood cell remodeling, through which infected red blood cells adopt pathogenic traits;
(2) understanding the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for antigenic variation and sexual conversion, which facilitate chronic blood infection and parasite transmission, respectively; and
(3) the identification and characterization of parasite ligands required for red blood cell invasion and their cognate invasion-inhibitory antibodies.
We further engage in elucidating mechanisms of action of anti-malarial drugs and in identifying immunological response signatures associated with native and adaptive anti-malarial immunity in vivo.
More to Explore
Role of the Plasmodim Falciparum Protein CyRPA in Parasite Invasion of Erythrocytes
A reverse vaccinology approach has led us to the identification of the P. falciparum Cysteine Rich Protective Antigen (PfCyRPA). The protein forms together with PfRH5 and PfRipr a multiprotein complex crucial for erythrocyte invasion. We have determined the crystal structure of PfCyRPA and are using this and parasite inhibitory and non-inhibitory anti-CyRPA monoclonal antibodies as a basis for analyzing its function.