Dr Mara Lawniczak | Group Leader

Lawniczak, Mara

Mara Lawniczak is an evolutionary geneticist with a long-standing interest in speciation and biodiversity, coupled with a desire to do science that has positive impacts on global health. She strives to build genomic resources that deliver impact in malaria control while also enhancing our understanding of evolution.

Background: Mara completed her PhD in Population Biology at UCDavis studying the female side of sexual conflict and arms race dynamics in Drosophila in the lab of David Begun. Continuing to work on this study system, she moved to Tracey Chapman’s lab in London for a postdoc where she generated transgenic flies lacking seminal fluid proteins and studied fitness consequences of these losses. She took a year away from science after this postdoc and then returned to London for another postdoc with Fotis Kafatos and George Christophides at Imperial College London, where she switched to working on Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2012 she was awarded an MRC Career Development Fellowship and in 2014 she moved to Sanger and to form her group focused on vector population genomics. Over the past 5 years, she has had a leading role in the Malaria Cell Atlas and the Anopheles 1000 genomes project. Mara is an associate editor at GENETICS and is on the Board of Directors for the International Barcode of Life Consortium. She currently holds grants from MRC, GCRF, Wellcome, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Publications

  • The Malaria Cell Atlas: Single parasite transcriptomes across the complete Plasmodium life cycle.

    Howick VM, Russell AJC, Andrews T, Heaton H, Reid AJ et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2019;365;6455

  • A High-Quality De novo Genome Assembly from a Single Mosquito Using PacBio Sequencing.

    Kingan SB, Heaton H, Cudini J, Lambert CC, Baybayan P et al.

    Genes 2019;10;1

  • Single-cell RNA-seq reveals hidden transcriptional variation in malaria parasites.

    Reid AJ, Talman AM, Bennett HM, Gomes AR, Sanders MJ et al.

    eLife 2018;7

  • Genetic diversity of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.

    Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genomes Consortium, Data analysis group, Partner working group, Sample collections—Angola:, Burkina Faso: et al.

    Nature 2017;552;7683;96-100

  • The male mosquito contribution towards malaria transmission: Mating influences the Anopheles female midgut transcriptome and increases female susceptibility to human malaria parasites.

    Dahalan FA, Churcher TS, Windbichler N and Lawniczak MKN

    PLoS pathogens 2019;15;11;e1008063

  • The Malaria Cell Atlas: Single parasite transcriptomes across the complete Plasmodium life cycle.

    Howick VM, Russell AJC, Andrews T, Heaton H, Reid AJ et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2019;365;6455

  • Whole-genome sequencing reveals high complexity of copy number variation at insecticide resistance loci in malaria mosquitoes.

    Lucas ER, Miles A, Harding NJ, Clarkson CS, Lawniczak MKN et al.

    Genome research 2019;29;8;1250-1261

  • A High-Quality De novo Genome Assembly from a Single Mosquito Using PacBio Sequencing.

    Kingan SB, Heaton H, Cudini J, Lambert CC, Baybayan P et al.

    Genes 2019;10;1

  • Single-cell RNA-seq reveals hidden transcriptional variation in malaria parasites.

    Reid AJ, Talman AM, Bennett HM, Gomes AR, Sanders MJ et al.

    eLife 2018;7

  • Cross-Species Y Chromosome Function Between Malaria Vectors of the Anopheles gambiae Species Complex.

    Bernardini F, Galizi R, Wunderlich M, Taxiarchi C, Kranjc N et al.

    Genetics 2017;207;2;729-740

  • A computational lens for sexual-stage transmission, reproduction, fitness and kinetics in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Lawniczak MK and Eckhoff PA

    Malaria journal 2016;15;1;487

  • Mosquito genomics. Extensive introgression in a malaria vector species complex revealed by phylogenomics.

    Fontaine MC, Pease JB, Steele A, Waterhouse RM, Neafsey DE et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2015;347;6217;1258524

  • Mosquito genomics. Highly evolvable malaria vectors: the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquitoes.

    Neafsey DE, Waterhouse RM, Abai MR, Aganezov SS, Alekseyev MA et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2015;347;6217;1258522

  • Proteomic analysis of the Plasmodium male gamete reveals the key role for glycolysis in flagellar motility.

    Talman AM, Prieto JH, Marques S, Ubaida-Mohien C, Lawniczak M et al.

    Malaria journal 2014;13;315

  • Genetic dissection of Anopheles gambiae gut epithelial responses to Serratia marcescens.

    Stathopoulos S, Neafsey DE, Lawniczak MK, Muskavitch MA and Christophides GK

    PLoS pathogens 2014;10;3;e1003897

  • Adaptive divergence between incipient species of Anopheles gambiae increases resistance to Plasmodium.

    White BJ, Lawniczak MK, Cheng C, Coulibaly MB, Wilson MD et al.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011;108;1;244-9

  • SNP genotyping defines complex gene-flow boundaries among African malaria vector mosquitoes.

    Neafsey DE, Lawniczak MKN, Park DJ, Redmond SN, Coulibaly MB et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2010;330;6003;514-517

  • Widespread divergence between incipient Anopheles gambiae species revealed by whole genome sequences.

    Lawniczak MK, Emrich SJ, Holloway AK, Regier AP, Olson M et al.

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2010;330;6003;512-4

  • A mating plug protein reduces early female remating in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Bretman A, Lawniczak MK, Boone J and Chapman T

    Journal of insect physiology 2010;56;1;107-13

  • Genomic analysis of the relationship between gene expression variation and DNA polymorphism in Drosophila simulans.

    Lawniczak MK, Holloway AK, Begun DJ and Jones CD

    Genome biology 2008;9;8;R125

  • Adaptive gene expression divergence inferred from population genomics.

    Holloway AK, Lawniczak MK, Mezey JG, Begun DJ and Jones CD

    PLoS genetics 2007;3;10;2007-13

  • Molecular population genetics of female-expressed mating-induced serine proteases in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Lawniczak MK and Begun DJ

    Molecular biology and evolution 2007;24;9;1944-51

  • Mating and immunity in invertebrates.

    Lawniczak MK, Barnes AI, Linklater JR, Boone JM, Wigby S and Chapman T

    Trends in ecology & evolution 2007;22;1;48-55

  • A QTL analysis of female variation contributing to refractoriness and sperm competition in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Lawniczak MK and Begun DJ

    Genetical research 2005;86;2;107-14

  • A genome-wide analysis of courting and mating responses in Drosophila melanogaster females.

    Lawniczak MK and Begun DJ

    Genome 2004;47;5;900-10

Lawniczak, Mara
Mara's Timeline
2014

Joined the Sanger

2012

Awarded an MRC Career Development Award

2007

Began postdoc at Imperial College London (with Fotis Kafatos and George Christophides)

2004

PhD in Population Biology from UCDavis (with David Begun)