Host-Pathogen Interactions

Research Context

Development of the parasite in the mosquito is an obligatory step in its life cycle and offers us an additional target in the effort to curb disease transmission. The current malaria research paradigm has been heavily focused on asexual blood stage development of the parasite and the development of tools aimed at disease control. In the era of malaria elimination and eradication, studies focused on the malaria transmission stages have received increased attention and prioritization, with the hope that the analyses of these stages will lead to breakthrough malaria transmission-blocking interventions.

Research Expertise

We take advantage of innovative approaches from a broad remit of disciplines- Glycobiology, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Chemical Biology, Molecular Parasitology, Molecular Vector Biology, and Vaccinology, to develop enabling technologies to support malaria elimination and eradication.  This “Integrative Biology” or “multi-OMICS” approach allows us to finally address critical biological questions in the context of human/vector host-pathogen interactions and, as a whole, malaria transmission biology.  This has led to the discovery of a mosquito-based malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate, which is now undergoing feasibility assessments and process development in collaboration with the PATH-Malaria Vaccine Initiative.  We were the first to provide proof of concept demonstrations of the potential utility of mosquito-based TBVs to control both human malaria parasite species (P. falciparum and P. vivax) in diverse anopheline vector species across the globe. More recently, my group has developed a robust platform for cutting-edge proteomic analyses of mosquito midgut epithelia microvillar membranes that can potentially provide unique insight into vector host-pathogen interactions.  Our multi-OMICS strategy perspective has also led to the discovery of a novel small molecule with potent malaria transmission-blocking properties and the identification of the Plasmodium molecule that is blocked by this small molecule.  To support the discovery pipeline, we are also developing novel, single dose drug and vaccine delivery methods that are appropriate for malaria endemic countries in the developing world.


  • PATH-Malaria Vaccine Initiative
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Human Frontiers Science Program
  • Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute
  • Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
  • University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute
  • University of Florida Preeminence Initiative

Collaborating Institutions

  • Boston University, MA, USA
  • BOKU, Vienna, Austria
  • Ehime University, Japan
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
  • Hokkaido University, Japan
  • Imperial College of London, UK
  • Ifakara Health Institute, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
  • INSP, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • IRD Montpellier, France and Yaounde, Cameroon
  • The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, UK
  • Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
  • Kinshasa School of Public Health, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
  • Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID, NIH, USA
  • Malaria Institute at Macha, Zambia
  • Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Mercy Research Hospital lab, Bo town, Sierra Leone
  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Netherlands
  • University of Milan, Italy
  • Universität Rostock, Germany
  • Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • USAMRU-K, Kisumu, Kenya
  • US Naval Research Laboratory, USA
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA




Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology
2055 Mowry Road, Rm 375
Tel. +1 (352) 294-8448 (OFFICE) / Tel. +1 (352) 294-8470 (LAB Rm. 320-326)




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