Dr Oliver Billker

Oliver uses experimental genetics in rodent models to study the basic biology of malaria parasites and their interactions with host and mosquito vectors.

Oliver graduated in Biology from the Free University Berlin in 1995.

In 1999 he earned his PhD at Imperial College London in the group of Bob Sinden, identifying a mosquito factor that initiates malaria parasite development in the vector.

Following a postdoctoral fellowship in bacterial pathogenesis and signal transduction at Berlin's Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Oliver returned to Imperial College London in 2002 as an MRC Career Development Fellow. Studying malaria parasites of rodents, his group began to identify parasite genes involved in signal transduction, sexual development and the mosquito transmission of malaria.

He joined the Sanger Malaria Programme in 2008. Oliver brings to the programme a model parasite that lends itself to large scale mutagenesis and that links to the Mouse Genetics Programme, with the aim of identifying host genes involved in host parasite interactions. He is now an MRC Senior Research Fellow.

Selected Publications

  • A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite.

    Pfander C, Anar B, Schwach F, Otto TD, Brochet M, Volkmann K, Quail MA, Pain A, Rosen B, Skarnes W, Rayner JC and Billker O

    Nature methods 2011;8;12;1078-82

  • Cutting edge: the membrane attack complex of complement is required for the development of murine experimental cerebral malaria.

    Ramos TN, Darley MM, Hu X, Billker O, Rayner JC, Ahras M, Wohler JE and Barnum SR

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2011;186;12;6657-60

  • The systematic functional analysis of Plasmodium protein kinases identifies essential regulators of mosquito transmission.

    Tewari R, Straschil U, Bateman A, Böhme U, Cherevach I, Gong P, Pain A and Billker O

    Cell host & microbe 2010;8;4;377-87

  • A cyclic GMP signalling module that regulates gliding motility in a malaria parasite.

    Moon RW, Taylor CJ, Bex C, Schepers R, Goulding D, Janse CJ, Waters AP, Baker DA and Billker O

    PLoS pathogens 2009;5;9;e1000599

  • Calcium-dependent signaling and kinases in apicomplexan parasites.

    Billker O, Lourido S and Sibley LD

    Cell host & microbe 2009;5;6;612-22

  • The conserved plant sterility gene HAP2 functions after attachment of fusogenic membranes in Chlamydomonas and Plasmodium gametes.

    Liu Y, Tewari R, Ning J, Blagborough AM, Garbom S, Pei J, Grishin NV, Steele RE, Sinden RE, Snell WJ and Billker O

    Genes & development 2008;22;8;1051-68

  • Calcium and a calcium-dependent protein kinase regulate gamete formation and mosquito transmission in a malaria parasite.

    Billker O, Dechamps S, Tewari R, Wenig G, Franke-Fayard B and Brinkmann V

    Cell 2004;117;4;503-14

[Wellcome Library, London]

Oliver's Project
Malaria Programme
Research Area
Pathogen Genetics
* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/hgvm3jom