Malaria: Going bananas for sex

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Department / Centre
Infectious Diseases
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Matthew Dixon Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof James McCarthy Personal web page

Summary Our laboratory investigates the cellular mechanisms underpinning malaria parasite transmission and disease. We investigate the novel banana shaped sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum, focused on understanding their unique biology and how this contributes to transmission. We are interested in developing and testing drugs and vaccines that may block transmission of the parasite from infected humans to Anopheles mosquitos.

Project Details

Gametocyte maturation and development is critical for survival within the host and disease transmission. Inhibition of this development 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 are interested in determining the cellular and molecular players driving this shape change and how this influences survival within the host and mosquito transmission.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students
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.

Department / Centre

Infectious Diseases

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