We use cookies on this website. By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings, you agree that you are happy to accept our cookies and for us to access these on your device. Find out more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings.

Malaria Experimental Genetics

9-15 February 2014

Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge

Now closed for applications. Please email to join our mailing list.

Course summary

This laboratory-based advanced course will give participants a working knowledge of and practical experience in cutting edge Plasmodium experimental genetics techniques, from designing gene targeting vectors and creating transgenic parasites to phenotyping the strains that result. The goal is to facilitate the participants’ own research careers by exposing them to state-of-the-art experimental approaches, while discussing the advantages and limitations of each approach.

The week-long practical course will cover experimental approaches to both the human parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) and the rodent parasite (Plasmodium berghei). The practical work will include several novel technological approaches, including production of gene targeting constructs using recombineering, which eliminates the need for PCR and restriction enzyme based ligation, and advanced molecular phenotyping approaches including next generation RNA sequencing and comparative mass spectrometry. The laboratory-based programme will be complemented by specific lectures in topical areas as well as a panel of distinguished guest speakers, who will present the latest research in the field.

Bursaries are available to attend this course. See below for details.


The overall strategy will be to follow a Plasmodium experimental genetics experiment from conception to completion, and will cover work with both P.berghei and P.falciparum. Topics to be covered will include:

Gene targeting vector construction

  • recombineering-based approaches to vector construction
  • consideration of the relative merits of different conditional expression approaches.

Transfection and genotyping

  • mechanics of transfection in both P. berghei and P. falciparum
  • verification of targeting using PCR and PFGE.

Molecular phenotyping

  • imaging approaches
  • comparative mass spectrometry
  • application of next generation sequencing to transcriptional profiling
  • flow cytometry-based phenotyping platforms.

Course instructors

Oliver Billker (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK)
Julian Rayner (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK)

2014 Guest speakers

Photini Sinnis (John Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, USA)
Manoj Duraisingh (Harvard School of Public Health, USA)
Andy Waters (University of Glasgow, UK)
Jacquin Niles (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Sylke Müller (University of Glasgow, UK)

Feedback from the 2013 course

“This was a great course, very well organized and full of useful material, I will definitely recommend to others”

“It is a great opportunity, unique. I am extremely grateful to Wellcome by have been able to participate”

“I am certain that the knowledge that I gained in this course will aid me in progressing my research.”

“I think the course was absolutely wonderful and I learnt a lot. All the organisers were awesome.”

How to apply

Applicants should be postdoctoral scientists, PhD students or clinician scientists engaged in, or soon to commence, relevant research.

The course tuition fees are subsidised by The Wellcome Trust for scientists based in non-commercial institutions anywhere in the world. This is a residential course and there is a fee of £750 towards board and lodging for non-commercial applicants. The fee for commercial applicants is £3550.

Bursaries are available for non-commercial applicants to cover up to 100% of the course fee. Funding is also available to assist with travel costs. Please note that bursaries are limited and will be awarded on merit. The Wellcome Trust gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research ( EVIMalaR).

Now closed for applications. Please email to join our mailing list.

Supported by:

European Virtual Institute of Malaria Research ( EVIMalaR)

Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888