Plasmodium is a large genus of parasitic protozoa responsible for causing malaria, which are transmitted between human hosts by blood-feeding Anopheline mosquitoes. My current research interest focuses on malaria transmission biology, particularly on Anopheles mosquito’s ability to handle oxidative stress in relation to the Plasmodium parasite development in its midgut.
I entered the Dinglasan lab with a background in microbial genetics and an interest in working with insects. During the course of my masters I have become increasingly interested in vector biology and medical entomology. I am currently interested in researching how vector species maintain homeostasis during pathogen development and how upsetting this balance could be used to selectively eliminate competent vectors. Most of the earth’s population is at risk for vector borne diseases but the poorest and most destitute people are often at the highest risk for contracting these debilitating
My research interests are focused on the malaria liver stage, particularly in regards to the mechanism of P. falciparum invasion of the liver. Malaria infection begins with the bite of an infected mosquito that injects parasitic sporozoites into the skin. These sporozoites can make their way from the skin and into the circulation. From there, they migrate to the liver, where they cross the sinusoidal barrier to access the hepatocytes and establish the liver stage of infection. This stage is symptomatically silent but leads to the blood stage, when clinical disease begins.