Sex in human malaria parasites

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Matthew Dixon 8344 2534 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Leann Tilley Leann Tilley Personal web page

Project Details

The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum undergoes a remarkable transformation that allows asexual stage multiplication in a human host and sexual reproduction in a mosquito vector. Gametocyte maturation represents a “bottle neck” in the parasite’s development; inhibition of this process would ablate disease transmission. This transformation sees an amoeboid shaped asexual stage parasite morph into a banana shaped sexual stage parasite, which is essential to disease transmission. Despite the importance of this stage of the parasite we understand very little about its unique biology. This unique shape is driven by the assembly of a membrane complex termed the inner membrane complex and the elaboration of a dense microtubule cytoskeleton that drives the unique gametocyte shape. In this project we will use CRISPR gene editing to create transgenic malaria parasites, which we will study by combing proteomics, molecular and cellular biology techniques with super resolution microscopy to define the molecular players driving gametocyte development. Understanding how gametocytes mature is fundamental to the development of effective means of combating this debilitating disease.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
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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