Structural studies of host-parasite interactions at the heart of malaria pathogenicity


  • Prof Matthew Higgins

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Proteins on the surface of the malaria parasite are at the front line of its battle with the host. Dr Higgins's project will use the latest tools to determine structures of protein-ligand complexes involved in red blood cell invasion and placental sequestration in pregnancy-associated malaria. Structural studies will allow mapping of polymorphisms onto molecular surfaces while identifying conserved binding sites and inhibitory epitopes on which to focus. An insight into the molecular structure of key malaria surface proteins will guide design of future vaccine components.