Investigating the effects of GM-CSF and M-CSF derived human macrophages on phagocytosing P. falciparum infected erythrocytes and cytokine production

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Adrian Achuthan 83443298 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Stephen Rogerson 8344 3259 Personal web page

Project Details

An important way in which the body clears malaria infection is through opsonisation of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) and phagocytosis by monocytes/macrophages. This process leads to activation of signalling pathway and cytokine production. Current studies utilize human monocytes cultured in vitro in the presence of either granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) or M-CSF to produce monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Classical activation of monocytes by GM-CSF yields “M1-like” MDMs with a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile while M-CSF promotes “M2-like” MDMs that produce an anti-inflammatory cytokine repertoire. In this project you will explore the effects of IE phagocytosis by M1-like and M2-like MDMs on cytokine production and trafficking.  Furthermore, you will be investigating the expression and function of signalling proteins that govern phagocytosis and cytokine secretion in these two types of MDMs

Techniques: The project involves a range of molecular and cell biology techniques including culture and purification of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, isolation and culture of human monocytes/macrophages, qPCR to assess cytokine mRNA, ELISA to measure cytokine secretion and Western blotting and confocal imaging to determine protein expression and localisation.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Cardiometabolic , Ageing, Child Health in Medicine, Musculoskeletal , Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Women's Health, Integrated Critical Care in Medicine

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.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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