Areas of interest
Malaria, Cytoadherence, Metabolism
I worked for many years as research technician in The Netherlands before moving to the UK to work at the University of Oxford, where I also completed my part-time PhD via the Open University. After working as postdoctoral research assistant at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow, I joined Foto-Cewek in 2012 to work in the group of Prof. Alister Craig, although most of my research takes place at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research in Medecine Programme, Blantyre, Malawi.
Research in Medecine
Initially a protein biochemist, my research interests have broadened and now include various aspects of malaria. After working on the metabolism of P. falciparum, the parasite causing malaria, my current research focusses on the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. This complication of malaria results in coma and is associated with the sequestration and cytoadherence of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes to small vessel endothelium in the brain. Various host receptors have been identified, but how these interactions play a role in the progression of malaria is poorly understood. My research is trying to understand the mechanisms of sequestration and cytoadherence by investigating the ability of P. falciparum isolates from children with cerebral malaria and uncomplicated malaria to bind to microvascular endothelial cells in an in vitro model. Undertaking the research at MLW gives us the advantage to study the parasites when they come straight from the patient and importantly, it also builds local research capacity.
Other relevant expertise, professional memberships etc.
- Member of the British Society for Parasitology