Research

We are a newly established research group that focuses on providing better understanding of the biology relating to parasite development and host-parasite interactions during the malaria sexual stages. Our ultimate goal is to discover novel strategies to hamper malaria transmission.

Malaria has a tremendous global impact, where nearly half the world’s population is at risk of acquiring the disease. The parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which causes the most severe form of malaria, has been estimated to cause approximately half a million deaths per year, mainly among young children.

Adapted from Bousema and Drakeley (2011) Clin. Microbiol. Rev. (24) 377-410

The highly complex lifecycle of Plasmodium falciparum involves transitioning between a human host and a mosquito vector. Our lab has set out to generate a detailed understanding of the genetic pathways involved during these key developmental stages both on the parasite and on the host side. To address our specific research aims we use a combination of genetic, molecular and cell biological tools. We have established, and heavily exploit, various methodologies to combine cell biological approaches with targeted isolation of parasites or parasite-host complexes, followed by transcriptional profiling.

This is done in close collaboration with the Imaging Facility at Stockholm University (IFSU) as well as Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) in Stockholm and Uppsala. Within the Stockholm University Malaria/Mosquito Facility (SUMF) we have a biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) certified insectary and are in the unique position of performing infections of Anopheles mosquitoes with the human infecting malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.