Niraj H. Tolia, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Malaria causes an estimated 300-500 million cases and 1-3 million deaths annually, 80% of which are in children under the age of five. The clinical symptoms of malaria culminate upon red blood cell invasion by Plasmodium parasites, the etiological agents of Malaria. Therefore, recognition and invasion of the red blood cells is an attractive target for therapeutics and an active area of research. The Tolia Laboratory study the molecular events that occur during erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium parasites. We use the tools of structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry and parasitology to examine proteins and protein complexes associated with these events.