Dr Lisa Ranford-Cartwright
- Reader (Parasitology)
- Associate - Life Sciences (School of Life Sciences)
- Associate Academic (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine)
Genetics and biology of the interactions between the human malaria parasite and the mosquito vector; Genetics and biology of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.
Research in my laboratory focuses on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The primary aim of our research is to understand the effect of parasite genetic polymorphism on parasite phenotypic variation, particularly in transmission biology, parasite-vector interactions and parasite growth rate in the red blood cells of the human host.
We want to understand what makes some malaria parasites better at infecting mosquitoes? Why do some parasites grow more quickly in the body, and cause more severe forms of malaria disease?
We use the tools of genetic mapping of experimental crosses to identify parasite genes linked to these important traits. We curate the progeny clones from the first experimental genetic cross (Walliker et al., 1987), between parasite clones 3D7 and HB3, and we have developed a large number of progeny clones from this cross. We have generated a dense genetic map of these progeny clones to allow linkage analyses and identification of genetic loci contributing to differences in parasite phenotype.
Our current research aims to identify parasite quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control infection prevalence and intensity in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, and that control virulence factors such as the rate of parasite replication in erythrocytes. Other projects include the quantitation of parasite replication in the mosquito, and the genetic control of sex differentiation in the sexual gametocyte stage.
We maintain many different lines of human malaria parasites in culture, as well as three different species of Anopheles mosquitoes in insectaries, which we infect with P. falciparum sexual stages grown in culture.
We combine our laboratory experimental work with fieldwork in a number of malaria-endemic countries. We seek to apply the information on genetic differences between parasites, gained from our experimental work, to develop new tests to predict disease severity in people, or the likelihood of mosquito transmission.
We work collaboratively with colleagues in Europe and in malaria-endemic countries in Africa, SE Asia and South America, to monitor antimalarial drug resistance using molecular markers, to examine population genetics of malaria parasites, and to investigate mosquito transmission of parasites with genetically modified genes such as those involved in cell cycle control.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Analysis of the ecological and genetic bases of mosquito fitness in two major malaria vectors (ISSF Fellowship)
2014 - 2015
2013 - 2017
- Genetic diversity and population dynamics of Cryptosporidium species and the use of next generation sequencing data to improve diagnostic and outbreak source identification tools. (ISSF Catalyst)
2013 - 2014
- Adapting cell phone technology for the diagnosis of malaria
2011 - 2012
- Genetic analysis of growth rates in Plasmodium falciparum
2010 - 2013
- MALSIG - 'Signalling in major developmental stages of malaria parasites'
2009 - 2012
- TMREST - A new platform for fast molecular detection of MDR and XDR resistant strains of M. tuberculosis and of drug resistant malaria
2008 - 2010
- Identification of Plasmodium falciparum QTL determining differential infectivity to Anopheles mosquitoes
2006 - 2009
- Development of new assays and provision of samples for quality control
International Atomic Energy Agency
2006 - 2009
- Control of malaria through expression of novel peptides in transgenic mosquitoes
World Health Organisation
2004 - 2005
- 2011 - ongoing: Parasitology
- 2007 - ongoing: Asian Biomedicine (Research Reviews and News) (formerly Chulalongkorn Medical Journal)
- 2004 - 2011: Malaria Journal - Editorial board
Grant Advisory Board
- 2013 - ongoing: Leverhulme-Royal Society - Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Awards Final Award Committee
- 2013 - ongoing: National French Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR) - Panel member, Microbiology, Immunology and Infection (committee SVSE3)
- 2013 - ongoing: Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsradet) - Evaluation committee, Medicine and Health - Infections panel (C1)
- 2013 - ongoing: National Health Service/Health Protection Scotland - Scottish Malaria Advisory Group member
- 2011 - 2011: Institut Pasteur - CEPIA Platform Scientific Evaluation/Audit
- 2009 - 2012: Malaria Research and Reference Reagent Resource Center (MR4) - Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)
- 2007 - ongoing: European Commission Framework VII - Evaluator, LIF panel
- 2006 - ongoing: European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) - External Reviewer
- 2001 - ongoing: International Atomic Energy Agency - Expert Advisor on Malaria to Division of Human Health
Invited International Presentations
- 2012: Lorne, Australia - Invited speaker, Molecular Approaches to Malaria conference
- 2011: Edinburgh, UK - University of Edinburgh - Invited Speaker
- 2011: Invited contributor and discussion leader, "Genetics and Transmission", Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/NIH/NIAID meeting "Gametocyte Biology"
- 2011: Paris, France - Institut Pasteur - Invited Speaker
- 2010: Cockermouth, UK - Invited speaker, Cafe Scientifique
- 2010: Atlanta, Georgia, USA - American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- 2010: Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK - Genomic Epidemiology of Malaria Focus Meeting, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
- 2009: Heidelberg, Germany - Selected speaker, BioMalPar meeting.
- 2009: Vienna, Austria - Research Coordination Meeting on Improved Accuracy of Molecular and Immunological Markers for Prediction of Efficacy of Antimalarial Drugs, International Atomic Energy Agency. 'Latest Developments in Drug Resistance Detection'.
- 2009: Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK - Invited Speaker, Genomic Epidemiology of Malaria Focus Meeting: Genomics and Drug Resistance, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
- 2008: Newcastle, UK - British Society of Parasitology Spring & Malaria meeting
- 2008: New York, New York, USA - New York University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Parasitology
- 2007: Glasgow, UK - Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow ' Travel Medicine Symposium: A Voyage of Discovery'. Plenary lecturer.
- 2007: Khartoum, Sudan - National Training Course on Evolutionary Genetics of Drug Resistance in Malaria: Principles and Approach for Field Application, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Khartoum. Invited lecturer.
- 2007: Geneva, Switzerland - EU COST Action 857 'Apicomplexan Biology in the post-genomic era'. Invited speaker.
- 2006: Glasgow, UK - EU COST meeting on Apicomplexan Biology. Invited speaker.
- 2006: Glasgow, UK - Genetics Society Autumn Symposium (at ICOPA XI). Invited speaker.
Professional Learned Society
- 2012 - 2012: EMBL Heidelberg, Germany - Scientific Organising Committee, 8th Annual BioMalPar/EVIMalaR Conference "Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite"
- 2005 - 2006: Genetics Society - Scientific co-organiser of the Autumn meeting 2006
- 2004 - 2007: British Society for Parasitology - Hon Communications Secretary
- 2002 - ongoing: American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene - Member
- 2001 - 2003: Scottish Universities Molecular Parasitology Group - Co-convenor
- 1998 - 1998: British Society for Parasitology - Co-organiser for Malaria meeting 1998
- 1990 - ongoing: British Society for Parasitology - Member