Parasite to Parasite Networking

Cell-cell communication offers an efficient strategy to coordinate cellular and social activities and has to be tightly regulated within a population. Malaria parasites must send extracellular factors in order to facilitate their development and survival. In our laboratory we venture beyond the comfort zone to study what molecular messages that these intracellular parasites exchange. We combine cell-communication methodologies in conjunction with molecular biology techniques to investigate this mysterious malaria parasite.
Malaria kills up to half a million people worldwide annually, especially children under 5 years of age. Improving our knowledge of how these parasites survive, proliferate and undergo interspecies transmission is critically important. To date, there is no effective vaccination available and there is an alarming rise in resistance to all commercial anti-malarial drugs. Discoveries of novel tracks for drug and vaccine development are essential for fighting malaria.