Department of Infectious Diseases
Assistant Department Head, Graduate Coordinator, Professor
Cell Culture | Disease Pathogenesis | Disease Physiology | Immunology | Infectious Diseases | Parasitology | Pathogenesis
The research in my lab is focused on Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria. The parasite uses a protein encoded by an antigenically variant gene family to bind receptors on host cells, allowing the parasites to avoid passage through the spleen. One member of this family encodes a protein that mediates binding of infected RBCs with the placenta of infected women. We are studying aspects of the interaction of this protein and it’s receptor, as well as the host immune response to this protein. Current projects are investigating the role of multiple copies of this gene, as well as how the host immune response has selected polymorphic variants of the protein.
- The role of multiple var2csa gene copies in avoiding host immune response
- VAR2CSA polymorphism
- Selection for mutants able to avoid the host immune response