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Research unit

Lifecycle:1 Jan 1990 →  Today
Organisation profile:


The Unit of Malariology, led by Prof Rosanas-Urgell, aims to contribute to the development of tools and strategies for better malaria control and elimination. Most of our studies are solidly grounded in field-research and epidemiological studies aiming to provide a bridge between in vitro and in vivo research. We combine state-of-the-art molecular, ‘omic and cell technologies with field-research to study how Plasmodium parasites adapt to a changing environment. In this endeavor we count on a strong network of collaborations in Europe, Africa, South America, South-East Asia and Oceania.   

Main activities

Lines of research in the unit are:

. We investigate mechanisms and regulation of P. vivax key biological processes such as development of drug resistance and red blood cell invasion, using ex vivo invasion assays, CRISPR-Cas9 technology, P. knowlesi model and single-cell-sequencing.

. We work to develop molecular tools with next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches to support surveillance, monitoring, evaluation and improvement of current malaria control and elimination strategies. We support the transfer of technology, training and supervision to laboratories in malaria endemic areas (https://mesamalaria.org/mesa-track/development-tools-and-strategies-malaria-molecular-surveillance-countries-included-peru).

. By using molecular epidemiology studies and fundamental research we investigate how host and environmental factors (host genetics, treatment, immunity and seasonality) impact Plasmodium transmission.

Besides research, we provide ISO15189 accredited molecular diagnostic services for Plasmodium in the context of clinical trials, NGO projects and quality control.

We are strongly committed to knowledge dissemination with the training of a future generation of excellent scientist at different levels (bachelor, master and PhD) and from diverse backgrounds. We co-organize the Master of Science in Tropical Medicine and the annual course on Molecular Data for Infectious Diseases (https://edu.itg.be/course/component/69) while we contribute to formal teaching activities nationally and internationally.


Please do not hesitate to email us for more information.