After a PhD at Imperial College working on cell signalling in rodent malaria parasites, Rob moved to the National Institute for Medical Research (Francis Crick Institute) for his postdoc. After initially studying the invasion motor complex of Plasmodium falciparum, Rob moved on to working on P. knowlesi, a malaria parasite of macaques causing a significant number of cases of severe malaria in humans in SE Asia. Rob established the first P. knowlesi line that could be cultured in human red blood cells (RBCs), which was also highly amenable to genetic manipulation. In 2015 Rob received an MRC Career Development award to establish a lab at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to use these new tools to study RBC invasion in P. knowlesi. He has recently implemented CRISPR Cas9 genome editing in P. knowlesi and is using this to study malaria parasite invasion, and to develop new tools to aid P. vivax vaccine and drug development.
Host: Ian Gilbert