Dr Michael Duffy

Research interests

Malaria pathogenesis and nuclear biology

  • The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum employs novel chromatin proteins to regulate gene expression in its pared back genome, some of these proteins are possible drug targets. P. falciparum also employs a diverse armoury of variant surface proteins to hide from immunity, but only some of these proteins cause severe disease and possibly they could be used in a life-saving vaccine.

Research projects

  • Drug targets: Characterising mutated chromatin proteins in parasites for their effect on parasite growth and gene regulation
  • Developing novel assays for screening compounds that inhibit malaria parasite gene regulatory proteins
  • Vaccines: Identifying full length genes encoding variant antigens that have vaccine potential.
  • Determining whether variant antigens elicit the broadly reactive antibody responses required for a vaccine.

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