The ITM’s Experimental Immunology Unit aims at understanding the molecular interactions between the vector mosquito and the malaria parasite. Our particular focus is on the Anopheles vector innate immune system and how it is capable of regulating malaria infection and transmission. The expectation of our laboratory research is to identify and characterize genes and physiological systems linked to Anopheles – Plasmodium compatibility, and novel factors that are implicated in the activation and mediation of anti-Plasmodium immune responses in the malaria vector mosquito.
In brief, research in the Experimental Immunology Unit aims at:
• Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the malaria mosquito innate immunity responses, particularly melanization, in a vector-parasite specific manner.
• Addressing the natural variations of vector immunity to different Plasmodium species and other pathogens, pointing at the identification of pathogen-specific pathways that are relevant biological regulators for disease transmission.
• Identifying new transmission-blocking targets for the development of novel malaria vector control genetic technologies.
Contact: Maria Luísa Simões, Principal Investigator, Unit Head: firstname.lastname@example.org