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Malaria Serology

My post-doctoral research was in the Division of Malaria Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Institute for Global Health. There, I worked under Dr. Christopher Plowe on various aspects of malaria immunology and transmission. I was initially hired to provide entomological expertise for the group, as there had never been an entomologist there before. However, my mosquito-based projects never got much traction, due to a lack of dedicated funding. Luckily, I was able to find a home with the serology group working on aspects of human serology related to malaria control. We used both whole-protein and short peptide arrays to measure the human antibody response to malaria and related antigens, allowing us to measure the immune response of people to these antigens for predicting vaccine efficacy and as markers of exposure.

Additionally, my work with this group allowed me to gain further field experience. Our group works with local scientists in Mali, Malawi, Myanmar, and other malaria-endemic countries in order to build capacity and provide access to quality samples. I was able to go to Malawi for a month in order to work with the entomology team at the Blantyre Malaria Project and gain more experience working in a field setting. I also helped our collaborators in Myanmar increase their ability to perform mosquito surveillance as part of their malaria control program.