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 2007. Oliver brings to the programme a parasite model that lends itself to large scale mutagenesis and genetic screening approaches.

Selected Publications

  • A genome-scale vector resource enables high-throughput reverse genetic screening in a malaria parasite.

    Gomes AR, Bushell E, Schwach F, Girling G, Anar B, Quail MA, Herd C, Pfander C, Modrzynska K, Rayner JC and Billker O

    Cell host & microbe 2015;17;3;404-13

  • PlasmoGEM, a database supporting a community resource for large-scale experimental genetics in malaria parasites.

    Schwach F, Bushell E, Gomes AR, Anar B, Girling G, Herd C, Rayner JC and Billker O

    Nucleic acids research 2015;43;Database issue;D1176-82

  • A cascade of DNA-binding proteins for sexual commitment and development in Plasmodium.

    Sinha A, Hughes KR, Modrzynska KK, Otto TD, Pfander C, Dickens NJ, Religa AA, Bushell E, Graham AL, Cameron R, Kafsack BF, Williams AE, Llinás M, Berriman M, Billker O and Waters AP

    Nature 2014;507;7491;253-7

  • Phosphoinositide metabolism links cGMP-dependent protein kinase G to essential Ca²⁺ signals at key decision points in the life cycle of malaria parasites.

    Brochet M, Collins MO, Smith TK, Thompson E, Sebastian S, Volkmann K, Schwach F, Chappell L, Gomes AR, Berriman M, Rayner JC, Baker DA, Choudhary J and Billker O

    PLoS biology 2014;12;3;e1001806

  • A tetracycline-repressible transactivator system to study essential genes in malaria parasites.

    Pino P, Sebastian S, Kim EA, Bush E, Brochet M, Volkmann K, Kozlowski E, Llinás M, Billker O and Soldati-Favre D

    Cell host & microbe 2012;12;6;824-34

  • A Plasmodium calcium-dependent protein kinase controls zygote development and transmission by translationally activating repressed mRNAs.

    Sebastian S, Brochet M, Collins MO, Schwach F, Jones ML, Goulding D, Rayner JC, Choudhary JS and Billker O

    Cell host & microbe 2012;12;1;9-19

  • Transmission of malaria to mosquitoes blocked by bumped kinase inhibitors.

    Ojo KK, Pfander C, Mueller NR, Burstroem C, Larson ET, Bryan CM, Fox AM, Reid MC, Johnson SM, Murphy RC, Kennedy M, Mann H, Leibly DJ, Hewitt SN, Verlinde CL, Kappe S, Merritt EA, Maly DJ, Billker O and Van Voorhis WC

    The Journal of clinical investigation 2012;122;6;2301-5

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

[Wellcome Library, London]

Oliver's Project
Rodent models of malaria
Research Area
Malaria programme
* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/lywfkwqb