Josie Ferreira awarded the Wellcome Career Development Award

ISMB’s Josie Ferreira was recently awarded the Wellcome Career Development Award.

The CDA is an 8 year award for Josie to start her own research group at the ISMB, based in UCL. Josie’s award proposal was titled “How does the malaria parasite transform its unique cytoskeleton to ensure disease transmission?”

Josie’s research uses in situ structural biology techniques to study the parasite that causes the most severe form of malaria in humans, Plasmodium falciparum. In her previous work, she studied an essential cellular component; the parasite’s microtubule cytoskeleton. Studying this within the native parasite cell, revealed that P. falciparum has microtubules which are evolved to undertake specific roles in different life cycle stages. These microtubules have structures that are strikingly different from the well-studied canonical microtubules in vertebrates. This work highlights the extreme adaptations that this parasite has undergone and exposes unique biology in P. falciparum which has diverged from that of its host. Her lab will continue with this work, dissecting the structure, role and biological significance of the non-canonical microtubules, focussing on those which are required for the transmission of the parasite from its human host to the mosquito vector.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Josie for her achiement.