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The Malaria Programme joined with the Infection Genomics Programme to form the new Parasites and Microbes Programme in 2018


Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited
We develop and enhance high-throughput tools and technologies for malaria research to enable us to understand specific biological problems relevant for malaria control and to understand the fundamental science of human host, mosquito vector and Plasmodium pathogen. The Malaria Programme integrates genomic, genetic and proteomic approaches to:
  • Conduct large-scale, high-resolution analysis of Plasmodium and Anopheles genome variation to understand how they are evolving
  • Investigate genetic interactions between human, parasite and vector populations
  • Use molecular, cellular and organismal model systems to investigate how genetic variation affects host-parasite interactions
  • Developing scalable technologies and resources for Plasmodium experimental genetics using both in vitro and in vivo model systems
  • Develop new methods to investigate extracellular low-affinity interactions between P. falciparum extracellular proteins and host receptors
Patients in a waiting room of a health clinic in Biu, Upper East Region of Ghana.

Malaria is a debilitating and sometimes fatal illness that is caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites that are passed between people by Anopheles mosquitoes. Despite progress in fighting the illness, nearly half the world’s population – 3.4 billion people in 97 countries – are at risk. In 2012, there were 207 million reported cases and 627,000 deaths, with the majority of deaths among African children under the age of five (WHO Malaria Report, 2013). Developing an effective malaria vaccine and fighting antimalarial drug resistance remain major global public health challenges.

By integrating genomics with experimental research and operating both at scale, the Malaria programme is uniquely placed to tackle key challenges in malaria control, including the development of effective genomic surveillance of drug and insecticide resistance, and identifying and validating new drug and vaccine targets.

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