5. Kreutzfeld

Project title: Genetically arrested Plasmodium parasites: Signatures of lasting vaccine-induced protection

Research group and address:  Parasitology Unit, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Kai Matuschewski, Dr. Katja Müller, Oriana Kreutzfeld
Contact for further information: kreutzfeld@mpiib-berlin.mpg.de

Project description:

Pathogen stage conversion is a hallmark of parasites in general and permits unprecedented vaccine strategies. In the case of malaria, experimental immunizations with arrested liver stages have proven safe and efficacious against challenge infections in mice, primates, and humans. However, the molecular tracks of immune recognition and the immune effector mechanisms against Plasmodium pre-erythrocytic stages remain largely unsolved. In order to gain a better immunological understanding of protective immune responses as opposed to parasite recognition, transgenic parasite lines will be used to analyse protein export during liver stage infection and it’s impact on the immune response to Plasmodium.


Student’s responsibilities:

  • Mosquito dissection to gain Plasmodium berghei sporozoites
  • Prepare fluorescent stainings
  • Help with murine liver, spleen and lymph node preparation
  • RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis and collection of serum
  • Help with molecular cloning
  • Possibly further immunological experiments



We are looking for a highly motivated student with a background in biology and some lab work experience. Applicants should be open to learn how to dissect mosquitos and prepare cells from organs. The possibility to perform mouse experiments (animal license) would be highly appreciated. In addition, they should be flexible time wise to help during larger immunological experiments.


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