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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 Cell division Gametocyte Oocyst 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 were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627 000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020. 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 Press Releases, the 01/07/2022

A scientist from the University of Nottingham has received nearly £2.5 million from the European Research Council (ERC), to continue her research into the understanding of rapid atypical cell division, which could help to control transmission of malaria.

Professor Rita Tewari from the School of Life Sciences at the University is one of only 253 leading researchers from across Europe who will receive the funding as part of the ERC’s 2021 Advanced Grants Competition.

Published in Press Releases, the 06/03/2020

Scientists have made a major breakthrough in understanding how the parasite that causes malaria is able to multiply at such an alarming rate, which could be a vital clue in discovering how it has evolved, and how it can be stopped.

Published in General, the 15/11/2019

Within the last months, we published new findings. The mosts important are the following:

Published in General, the 22/08/2019

London Molecular Parasitology Club Meeting - 17th october 2019

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.

All news