Malaria parasite-infected red blood cells: a renovator’s dream

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Leann Tilley 0383442227 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Adam Blanch +61383442255

Project Details

Are you interested in how and why malaria parasites cause pathology and death? The blood stages of Plasmodium are responsible for disease symptoms, but the symptoms and virulence differ for different species of the malaria parasite. This reflects the fact that different species of plasmodium adopt different strategies to ensure survival in the bloodstream. It is becoming clear, however, that in each case they do so by altering the properties of the erythrocytes they infect. This project will study host cell remodeling and key virulence determinants in P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. knowlesi both in mature erythrocytes and reticulocytes. In work leading to this project we have developed new imaging methods to examine the organisation of infected erythrocytes at the highest possible resolution. The work combines molecular and cell biology, biophysical techniques, including generation and use of microfluidic chips, and microscopy techniques such as super-resolution light microscopy and electron microscopy to elucidate the ways in which parasites subvert their host cells. The work aims to try to find ways to interfere with this process and thus combat virulence.

Renovator's dream

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity, Cellular Imaging & Structural Biology

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Tilley laboratory: Measuring and modelling malaria parasites to develop new antimalarials

Research Node

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

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