Dominic Kwiatkowski | Head of Malaria and Senior Group Leader

Dominic leads the Malaria Programme at the Sanger Institute.  His own research focuses on using genomics to probe the ongoing evolutionary arms race between parasites, mosquitoes and human populations that are afflicted by malaria, and on translating this knowledge into new strategies for combatting drug and insecticide resistance.

The battle against malaria is entering an exciting but critical phase.  Thanks to the scaling up of control efforts worldwide, the number of deaths due to malaria has fallen dramatically.  However malaria still kills over half a million African children each year, and ever-increasing levels of drug and insecticide resistance threaten to reverse the gains that have been made.  

The focus of my research is to develop the genomic and computational tools to gain a deep understanding of how human interventions are driving evolutionary changes in the parasite and mosquito populations.  My team's holy grail is to use genetics to guide sustainable malaria control strategies that will drive down levels of drug and insecticide resistance and ultimately eliminate the disease.  I am also interested in the mechanisms that underlie protective immunity to malaria, and particularly in using genetics to discover molecular interactions between the host and parasite which could provide vital clues for vaccine developers.

I studied physics and neurophysiology before training as a paediatrician and going to work with Brian Greenwood in West Africa, where malaria is a huge problem.  My research career started out with clinical studies of childhood malaria combined with lab work on molecular pathogenesis and mathematical modelling of the disease. A move to David Weatherall's Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford taught me about the power of genetics to dissect complex clinical and epidemiological problems.  In 2005 I founded the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN) which now includes well over 100 research groups in more than 40 malaria endemic countries.  A key component of MalariaGEN's work has been to establish principles for equitable sharing of data between partners in rich and poor countries, linked to capacity building in data analysis for researchers in malaria endemic countries.  Complementary to my work here at Sanger, I direct the MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health at Oxford University.

Publications

  • A novel locus of resistance to severe malaria in a region of ancient balancing selection.

    Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network, Band G, Rockett KA, Spencer CC and Kwiatkowski DP

    Nature 2015;526;7572;253-7

  • Genetic architecture of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    Miotto O, Amato R, Ashley EA, MacInnis B, Almagro-Garcia J et al.

    Nature genetics 2015;47;3;226-34

  • Reappraisal of known malaria resistance loci in a large multicenter study.

    Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network and Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network

    Nature genetics 2014;46;11;1197-204

  • Generation of antigenic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum by structured rearrangement of Var genes during mitosis.

    Claessens A, Hamilton WL, Kekre M, Otto TD, Faizullabhoy A et al.

    PLoS genetics 2014;10;12;e1004812

  • Multiple populations of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Cambodia.

    Miotto O, Almagro-Garcia J, Manske M, Macinnis B, Campino S et al.

    Nature genetics 2013;45;6;648-55

  • Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing.

    Manske M, Miotto O, Campino S, Auburn S, Almagro-Garcia J et al.

    Nature 2012;487;7407;375-9

  • A global network for investigating the genomic epidemiology of malaria.

    Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network

    Nature 2008;456;7223;732-7

  • In vivo characterization of regulatory polymorphisms by allele-specific quantification of RNA polymerase loading.

    Knight JC, Keating BJ, Rockett KA and Kwiatkowski DP

    Nature genetics 2003;33;4;469-75

  • A trial of artemether or quinine in children with cerebral malaria.

    van Hensbroek MB, Onyiorah E, Jaffar S, Schneider G, Palmer A et al.

    The New England journal of medicine 1996;335;2;69-75

  • TNF concentration in fatal cerebral, non-fatal cerebral, and uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Kwiatkowski D, Hill AV, Sambou I, Twumasi P, Castracane J et al.

    Lancet (London, England) 1990;336;8725;1201-4

  • Febrile temperatures can synchronize the growth of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro.

    Kwiatkowski D

    The Journal of experimental medicine 1989;169;1;357-61

  • Population genetic structure and adaptation of malaria parasites on the edge of endemic distribution.

    Duffy CW, Ba H, Assefa S, Ahouidi AD, Deh YB et al.

    Molecular ecology 2017

  • Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution.

    Rutledge GG, Böhme U, Sanders M, Reid AJ, Cotton JA et al.

    Nature 2017;542;7639;101-104

  • Genetic markers associated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine failure in Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia: a genotype-phenotype association study.

    Amato R, Lim P, Miotto O, Amaratunga C, Dek D et al.

    The Lancet. Infectious diseases 2017;17;2;164-173

  • THE REAL McCOIL: A method for the concurrent estimation of the complexity of infection and SNP allele frequency for malaria parasites.

    Chang HH, Worby CJ, Yeka A, Nankabirwa J, Kamya MR et al.

    PLoS computational biology 2017;13;1;e1005348

  • Culture adaptation of malaria parasites selects for convergent loss-of-function mutants.

    Claessens A, Affara M, Assefa SA, Kwiatkowski DP and Conway DJ

    Scientific reports 2017;7;41303

  • Whole genome sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum from dried blood spots using selective whole genome amplification.

    Oyola SO, Ariani CV, Hamilton WL, Kekre M, Amenga-Etego LN et al.

    Malaria journal 2016;15;1;597

  • Extreme mutation bias and high AT content in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Hamilton WL, Claessens A, Otto TD, Kekre M, Fairhurst RM et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2016

  • Characterizing the impact of sustained sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use upon the Plasmodium falciparum population in Malawi.

    Ravenhall M, Benavente ED, Mipando M, Jensen AT, Sutherland CJ et al.

    Malaria journal 2016;15;1;575

  • Analysis of anti-malarial resistance markers in pfmdr1 and pfcrt across Southeast Asia in the Tracking Resistance to Artemisinin Collaboration.

    Srimuang K, Miotto O, Lim P, Fairhurst RM, Kwiatkowski DP et al.

    Malaria journal 2016;15;1;541

  • Genomic Analysis Reveals a Common Breakpoint in Amplifications of the Plasmodium vivax Multidrug Resistance 1 Locus in Thailand.

    Auburn S, Serre D, Pearson RD, Amato R, Sriprawat K et al.

    The Journal of infectious diseases 2016;214;8;1235-42

  • Independent Origin and Global Distribution of Distinct Plasmodium vivax Duffy Binding Protein Gene Duplications.

    Hostetler JB, Lo E, Kanjee U, Amaratunga C, Suon S et al.

    PLoS neglected tropical diseases 2016;10;10;e0005091

  • Indels, structural variation, and recombination drive genomic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Miles A, Iqbal Z, Vauterin P, Pearson R, Campino S et al.

    Genome research 2016;26;9;1288-99

  • Genomic analysis of local variation and recent evolution in Plasmodium vivax.

    Pearson RD, Amato R, Auburn S, Miotto O, Almagro-Garcia J et al.

    Nature genetics 2016;48;8;959-64

  • Binding of Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Proteins DBLMSP and DBLMSP2 to Human Immunoglobulin M Is Conserved among Broadly Diverged Sequence Variants.

    Crosnier C, Iqbal Z, Knuepfer E, Maciuca S, Perrin AJ et al.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2016;291;27;14285-99

  • Genomic epidemiology of artemisinin resistant malaria.

    MalariaGEN Plasmodium falciparum Community Project

    eLife 2016;5

  • Environmental Correlation Analysis for Genes Associated with Protection against Malaria.

    Mackinnon MJ, Ndila C, Uyoga S, Macharia A, Snow RW et al.

    Molecular biology and evolution 2016

  • The ethics of sustainable genomic research in Africa.

    Parker M and Kwiatkowski DP

    Genome biology 2016;17;1;44

  • A Toll-like receptor-1 variant and its characteristic cellular phenotype is associated with severe malaria in Papua New Guinean children.

    Manning L, Cutts J, Stanisic DI, Laman M, Carmagnac A et al.

    Genes and immunity 2016;17;1;52-9

  • G6PD gene variants and its association with malaria in a Sri Lankan population.

    Dewasurendra RL, Rockett KA, Fernando SD, Carter R, Kwiatkowski DP et al.

    Malaria journal 2015;14;1;603

  • Association mapping by pooled sequencing identifies TOLL 11 as a protective factor against Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles gambiae.

    Redmond SN, Eiglmeier K, Mitri C, Markianos K, Guelbeogo WM et al.

    BMC genomics 2015;16;779

  • A novel locus of resistance to severe malaria in a region of ancient balancing selection.

    Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network, Band G, Rockett KA, Spencer CC and Kwiatkowski DP

    Nature 2015;526;7572;253-7

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and the risk of malaria and other diseases in children in Kenya: a case-control and a cohort study.

    Uyoga S, Ndila CM, Macharia AW, Nyutu G, Shah S et al.

    The Lancet. Haematology 2015;2;10;e437-44

  • K13-propeller polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from sub-Saharan Africa.

    Kamau E, Campino S, Amenga-Etego L, Drury E, Ishengoma D et al.

    The Journal of infectious diseases 2015;211;8;1352-5

  • Genetic architecture of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    Miotto O, Amato R, Ashley EA, MacInnis B, Almagro-Garcia J et al.

    Nature genetics 2015;47;3;226-34

  • Independent emergence of artemisinin resistance mutations among Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia.

    Takala-Harrison S, Jacob CG, Arze C, Cummings MP, Silva JC et al.

    The Journal of infectious diseases 2015;211;5;670-9

  • Malaria genomics: tracking a diverse and evolving parasite population.

    Kwiatkowski D

    International health 2015;7;2;82-4

  • Drug resistance. Population transcriptomics of human malaria parasites reveals the mechanism of artemisinin resistance.

    Mok S, Ashley EA, Ferreira PE, Zhu L, Lin Z et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2015;347;6220;431-5

  • The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa.

    Gurdasani D, Carstensen T, Tekola-Ayele F, Pagani L, Tachmazidou I et al.

    Nature 2015;517;7534;327-32

  • Conjunctival fibrosis and the innate barriers to Chlamydia trachomatis intracellular infection: a genome wide association study.

    Roberts Ch, Franklin CS, Makalo P, Joof H, Sarr I et al.

    Scientific reports 2015;5;17447

  • Genetic determinants of anti-malarial acquired immunity in a large multi-centre study.

    Shelton JM, Corran P, Risley P, Silva N, Hubbart C et al.

    Malaria journal 2015;14;333

  • Whole-genome scans provide evidence of adaptive evolution in Malawian Plasmodium falciparum isolates.

    Ocholla H, Preston MD, Mipando M, Jensen AT, Campino S et al.

    The Journal of infectious diseases 2014;210;12;1991-2000

  • Optimized whole-genome amplification strategy for extremely AT-biased template.

    Oyola SO, Manske M, Campino S, Claessens A, Hamilton WL et al.

    DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes 2014;21;6;661-71

  • Reappraisal of known malaria resistance loci in a large multicenter study.

    Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network and Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network

    Nature genetics 2014;46;11;1197-204

  • Monitoring parasite diversity for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Ghansah A, Amenga-Etego L, Amambua-Ngwa A, Andagalu B, Apinjoh T et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2014;345;6202;1297-8

  • Spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

    Ashley EA, Dhorda M, Fairhurst RM, Amaratunga C, Lim P et al.

    The New England journal of medicine 2014;371;5;411-23

  • Adaptive introgression between Anopheles sibling species eliminates a major genomic island but not reproductive isolation.

    Clarkson CS, Weetman D, Essandoh J, Yawson AE, Maslen G et al.

    Nature communications 2014;5;4248

  • Natural selection and infectious disease in human populations.

    Karlsson EK, Kwiatkowski DP and Sabeti PC

    Nature reviews. Genetics 2014;15;6;379-93

  • Genome-wide analysis of selection on the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in West African populations of differing infection endemicity.

    Mobegi VA, Duffy CW, Amambua-Ngwa A, Loua KM, Laman E et al.

    Molecular biology and evolution 2014;31;6;1490-9

  • Changes in malaria parasite drug resistance in an endemic population over a 25-year period with resulting genomic evidence of selection.

    Nwakanma DC, Duffy CW, Amambua-Ngwa A, Oriero EC, Bojang KA et al.

    The Journal of infectious diseases 2014;209;7;1126-35

  • Epistasis between the haptoglobin common variant and α+thalassemia influences risk of severe malaria in Kenyan children.

    Atkinson SH, Uyoga SM, Nyatichi E, Macharia AW, Nyutu G et al.

    Blood 2014;123;13;2008-16

  • A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites.

    Kafsack BF, Rovira-Graells N, Clark TG, Bancells C, Crowley VM et al.

    Nature 2014;507;7491;248-52

  • A genome wide association study of Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility to 22 antimalarial drugs in Kenya.

    Wendler JP, Okombo J, Amato R, Miotto O, Kiara SM et al.

    PloS one 2014;9;5;e96486

  • Detecting and characterizing genomic signatures of positive selection in global populations.

    Liu X, Ong RT, Pillai EN, Elzein AM, Small KS et al.

    American journal of human genetics 2013;92;6;866-81

  • Multiple populations of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Cambodia.

    Miotto O, Almagro-Garcia J, Manske M, Macinnis B, Campino S et al.

    Nature genetics 2013;45;6;648-55

  • Imputation-based meta-analysis of severe malaria in three African populations.

    Band G, Le QS, Jostins L, Pirinen M, Kivinen K et al.

    PLoS genetics 2013;9;5;e1003509

  • Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    Sundararaman SA, Liu W, Keele BF, Learn GH, Bittinger K et al.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2013;110;17;7020-5

  • The 5q31 region in two African populations as a facet of natural selection by infectious diseases

    Elhassan,A.A.M., Hussein,A.A., Mohamed,H.S., ROCKETT,K., KWIATKOWSKI,D. et al.

    Russian Journal of Genetics 2013;49;2;246-54

  • Efficient depletion of host DNA contamination in malaria clinical sequencing.

    Oyola SO, Gu Y, Manske M, Otto TD, O'Brien J et al.

    Journal of clinical microbiology 2013;51;3;745-51

  • The 5q31 region in two African populations as a facet of natural selection by infectious diseases.

    Elhassan AA, Hussein AA, Mohamed HS, Rockett K, Kwiatkowski D et al.

    Genetika 2013;49;2;279-88

  • A full-length recombinant Plasmodium falciparum PfRH5 protein induces inhibitory antibodies that are effective across common PfRH5 genetic variants.

    Bustamante LY, Bartholdson SJ, Crosnier C, Campos MG, Wanaguru M et al.

    Vaccine 2013;31;2;373-9

  • Effective preparation of Plasmodium vivax field isolates for high-throughput whole genome sequencing.

    Auburn S, Marfurt J, Maslen G, Campino S, Ruano Rubio V et al.

    PloS one 2013;8;1;e53160

  • Human candidate polymorphisms in sympatric ethnic groups differing in malaria susceptibility in Mali.

    Maiga B, Dolo A, Touré O, Dara V, Tapily A et al.

    PloS one 2013;8;10;e75675

  • Bayesian refinement of association signals for 14 loci in 3 common diseases.

    Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, Maller JB, McVean G, Byrnes J, Vukcevic D et al.

    Nature genetics 2012;44;12;1294-301

  • Variation in human genes encoding adhesion and proinflammatory molecules are associated with severe malaria in the Vietnamese.

    Dunstan SJ, Rockett KA, Quyen NT, Teo YY, Thai CQ et al.

    Genes and immunity 2012;13;6;503-8

  • Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing.

    Manske M, Miotto O, Campino S, Auburn S, Almagro-Garcia J et al.

    Nature 2012;487;7407;375-9

  • An In-Solution Hybridisation Method for the Isolation of Pathogen DNA from Human DNA-rich Clinical Samples for Analysis by NGS.

    Smith M, Campino S, Gu Y, Clark TG, Otto TD et al.

    The open genomics journal 2012;5

  • Identification of common genetic variation that modulates alternative splicing.

    Hull J, Campino S, Rowlands K, Chan MS, Copley RR et al.

    PLoS genetics 2007;3;6;e99

Kwiatkowski, Dominic
Dominic's Timeline
2008

Director, MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health

2006

Joined the Sanger Institute

2005

Founded MalariaGEN

1998

MRC Clinical Research Professor, Oxford University

1986

Clinical Research Fellow, MRC Laboratories, The Gambia

1983

Paediatric Registrar, Guys Hospital, London

1970

Student Apprentice, Leyland Motors, Lancashire