PlasmoGEM

Parasites and Microbes

PlasmoGEM (the Plasmodium Genetic Modification Project) is an interdisciplinary group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute focussed on changing the scale of malaria experimental genetics.

Malaria is a mosquito transmitted disease that still poses a major public health problem to a large portion of the world, with 216 million cases and nearly 0.5 million deaths in 2016. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Plasmodium are single cell eukaryotes with complex life cycles, and are only very distantly related to model eukaryotes such as yeast or nematode worms. As a result, almost two decades since the completion of the first Plasmodium reference genome, nearly 50% of the 5,000+ genes in the genome lack an annotated function.

PlasmoGEM (the Plasmodium Genetic Modification Project) is an interdisciplinary group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute focussed on changing the scale of malaria experimental genetics.

Contribution of PlasmoGEM to the number of P. berghei mutants catalogued in the Rodent Malaria Genetic Modification Database (https://www.pberghei.eu/index.php)
Contribution of PlasmoGEM to the number of P. berghei mutants catalogued in the Rodent Malaria Genetic Modification Database (https://www.pberghei.eu/index.php)

PlasmoGEM develops new genetic tools and makes them freely available to the malaria research community. It also uses those tools to carry out large-scale genetic screens, such as a recent screen that quantified blood-stage growth rates for knockouts of over half the Plasmodium berghei genome (Bushell et al., Cell 2017).

PlasmoGEM is a collaborative project shared across the Rayner, Lee and Billker groups.

Core team

Photo of Mr Gareth Girling

Mr Gareth Girling

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Burcu Bronner-Anar, MSc

Burcu Bronner-Anar, MSc

Technician Commitment Manager

Photo of Dr Marcus Lee

Dr Marcus Lee

Group Leader

Photo of Dr Frank Schwach

Dr Frank Schwach

Senior Computational Biologist

Photo of Dr Julian C Rayner

Dr Julian C Rayner

Senior Group Leader and Director of Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science

Photo of Tom Metcalf

Tom Metcalf

Advanced Research Assistant

Previous team members

Photo of Hannah Bruce

Hannah Bruce

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Oliver Billker

Dr Oliver Billker

Former Senior Group Leader

Photo of Dr Ana Rita Batista Gomes

Dr Ana Rita Batista Gomes

Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo of Colin Herd

Colin Herd

Advanced Research Assistant

Photo of Dr Theo Sanderson

Dr Theo Sanderson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo of Dr Ellen Bushell

Dr Ellen Bushell

Senior Staff Scientist

Photo of Dr Zenon A Zenonos

Dr Zenon A Zenonos

Postdoctoral Fellow

 

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