Tilley Laboratory: Measuring and Modelling Malaria Parasites to Develop New Antimalarials

  • Head of Laboratory, ARC Australian Laureate Fellow

    Professor Leann Tilley
    T: +61 3 8344 2227
    E: ltilley@unimelb.edu.au
    Location: Bio21 Institute, 30 Flemington Rd, Room: 123
    W: Personal web page

Research Overview

Photo of Professor Leann Tilley

Professor Leann Tilley

As part of her Australian Laureate Fellowship Program, with funding from the Australian Research Council, Professor Tilley created the Georgina Sweet Prize for Women in Quantitative Bioscience. For further details:


Malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes

Every minute, one child in Africa dies from malaria. Around the world, the mosquito-borne parasite kills about 500,000 people each year, most of them children and pregnant women, while another 200 million people suffer illness as a result of malaria infections.

Carried by the anopheles mosquito, the tiny malaria parasite invades the victim's red blood cells where it starts devouring the red cell haemoglobin and changing the cells so that the infected red blood cells stick to blood vessel walls. This leads to the typical symptoms of fever and headaches, but in severe cases results in coma and death.

electron tomography of the malaria parasite

Electron tomography of the malaria parasite, P. falciparum. The rendered models show different stages of development of the parasite in its host, a red blood cell.

The Tilley lab is working as part of a global effort to understand and control malaria. We undertake research in the areas of cell biology and drug development related to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. We are particularly interested in how the parasite alters the erythrocyte surface to cause malaria pathology, as well as the remarkable transformation that turns parasites banana-shaped and allows them to be transmitted from a human host to a mosquito vector. We also investigate the action of and resistance to artemisinin, with a view to designing better antimalarial drugs.

Staff

Postdoctoral fellows

Matt Dixon
Nick Klonis
Susann Herrmann
Simon Cobbold
Stanley (Cheng) Xie
Boyin Liu

Research associate

Juan Nunez-Iglesias (VLSCI; 50% time with Tilley lab)

Lab manager

Shannon Kenny

Research assistant

David Gillet

Graduate students

Emma McHugh
Jess Bridgford
Laure Dumont
Oliver Looker
Steven Batinovic
Tuo Yang

Honours student

Molly Schneider

Research Publications

Click here for the results of a PubMed search of Leann's publications

Click here for the results of a Google Scholar analysis of Leann's publications

Research Projects


Research Themes

Infection and Immunity

Areas of Excellence

Cellular Imaging and Structural Biology,Therapeutics and Translation


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact
Professor Leann Tilley.

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology