Mr Jesse Cheruiyot Arap Rop
I'm a PhD student working within the single-cell group in the Lawniczak lab focusing on the transmission of field P.falciparum strains.
The WHO has set the goal to reduce P.falciparum malaria mortality, currently standing at around 0.5 million, by 90% in 2030. To achieve this, the transmission stage of the malaria lifecycle has been earmarked as a target due to the drastic reduction in parasite numbers at this stage.
Embedded within a collaborative project with a team from Mali, my PhD sets out to identify loci that influence the transmission of parasites from human hosts in the field through lab-reared mosquitoes. I aim to do this by capturing single-cell genotypes of both the parental parasites circulating in the human hosts and their progeny once they have undergone sexual recombination in the mosquitoes. By comparing the single-cell genotypes between these 2 pools per infection, we can then identify loci that are involved in transmission through the mosquitoes and mutations which affect the success of this.
Having spent the initial years of my research career studying the relationship between host factors and infectious diseases including malaria and rotavirus in Kenyan children, I am also interested in how host factors can affect the transmission capacity of parasites from human hosts through the mosquitoes.
This information can then be used by pharmaceutical companies to inform transmission-blocking interventions.