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The Tewari Lab

Unravelling Malaria Parasite Cell Biology and Development

Zygote retorts showing apical GFP expressionZygote retorts showing apical GFP expression
Sporozoite with surface and apical GFP expressionSporozoite with surface and apical GFP expression
Schizont showing surface GFP expressionSchizont showing surface GFP expression
Female zygote with nuclear GFP expressionFemale zygote with nuclear GFP expression
Ookinete showing apical GFP expressionOokinete showing apical GFP expression
Oocyst with sporozoitesOocyst with sporozoites

Malaria Kinases Phosphatases Signalling Development Cell Biology Gametocyte Ookinete Sporozoite Merozoite Apical Drug discovery Armadillo repeat proteins Invasion

Malaria is an infectious disease that threatens 40% of total world’s population, the majority living in developing countries. There are 212 million clinical cases and 429 000 malaria deaths per year, mostly of children. The disease is caused by an apicomplexan protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The parasite develops and multiplies within the liver of the human host and then infects and multiplies within red blood cells. This asexual blood stage is responsible for the pathology of the disease. The control of the disease is hampered by the lack of an effective vaccine and the ever increasing resistance to antiparasite drugs and of mosquitoes to insecticides. Control strategies are further limited by the complex life cycle of the malaria parasite that has developmental stages within the liver and blood of the human host and in the gut and salivary glands of the mosquito. To develop rational and effective intervention strategies, understanding the biology of parasite development and the signalling processes that control it are crucial.

Our research is mainly aimed to understand the molecular pathways that are involved in malaria parasite development and differentiation, cell division, and parasite interactions with both mammalian and vector host. We use molecular, genetic, cell biology, biochemistry, proteomics and reverse genetics approaches to study the function of regulatory protein families like kinases, phosphatases, cell division proteins and armadillo repeat proteins in malaria parasite biology. The aim is to identify the best drug and vaccine targets and along the way understand basic parasite cell and developmental biology. For all these studies we use rodent malaria model Plasmodium berghei that is easily amenable to reverse genetic studies and whole life cycle of parasite can be studied both in mammalian host and vector mosquito.

Recent News

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Published in General, the 02/12/2018

A very useful visit to Francis Crick Institute to attend London Molecular Parasitology Club Meeting. The meeting was great opportunity to listen excellent speakers.

Published in General, the 09/10/2018

Kelly Lee has been successful in getting MRC PhD fellowship to work on NEK kinases in malaria. Many congratulations.

Published in Press Releases, the 31/08/2018

On World Mosquito Day, Edward Rea, a research fellow working on malaria parasite cell biology and development with Professor Rita Tewari, discusses why the fight against this mosquito-borne disease is far from over.

Published in Press Releases, the 05/07/2017

Science initiated in Nottingham has helped to form the foundation for the latest breakthrough in the global fight against malaria.

Researchers in the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences were responsible for the identification of the molecular switches that control the three key stages of the malaria parasite’s life cycle – work which has underpinned a new discovery about the way in which the growth of the parasite is controlled.

Now, a team of international scientists led by Portuguese academics has discovered that one of the proteins identified by the Nottingham experts plays a vital role in modulating the parasite’s rate of replication by sensing the nutritional status of its host.

Published in General, the 26/05/2017

Our first Midlands Cell Cycle and Cytoskeleton Club meeting will take place on 11th July 2017.
This is not a open public event.

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