Grants awarded

Artificial host cell membrane mimics for antimalarial research and applications

Grantholder:

Dr Adrian Najer

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

Malaria is an infectious disease that particularly affects children, killing half a million each year.

I will evaluate an alternative strategy against malaria that provides both treatment and vaccination. It will treat an existing infection in a way that activates the immune system to protect against future infections. This is known as nanotherapy-mediated vaccination. Various nanostructures will be designed for this purpose and evaluated to block the invasion of host cells by malaria parasites. A sequential targeting approach will be tested to first block pathogen invasion and then target immune cells to tune the immune response.

This project will challenge current understanding on the involvement of biochemical and physical parameters on parasite invasion by using giant host cell mimics, which will help us better understand the invasion process.