307 Westlake Ave. N., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98109-5219
As part of SBRI’s Malaria Program, Dr. Kappe’s work is focused on the biology of malaria parasite mosquito stages and mammalian liver stages. The discovery of pre-erythrocytic subunit vaccine candidates and the creation of whole organism vaccines to prevent malaria infection is a major goal. Dr. Kappe received a prestigious Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Gates Foundation in 2005, targeted at designing genetically engineered, live attenuated Plasmodium falciparum vaccine strains.
The Plasmodium sporozoite stage, which develops in mosquitoes, is transmitted by bite and initiates the infection of the mammalian host. The Kappe Lab has identified numerous proteins that are potentially involved in the invasion process and others that are needed for the establishment of the parasites' intracellular niche and growth in the liver. The function of these proteins is elucidated using genetic, molecular biological and cell biological tools. The lab has recently shown that deletion of genes that encode proteins of the vaculoar compartment surrounding the intra-hepatic liver stage lead to a severe defect in liver stage development. The lab is also conducting systems biology studies to identify host responses to parasite liver infection.
Immune responses against liver stages confer complete protection against malaria infection yet the antigens involved in this protection have not been identified. Dr. Kappe has analyzed global gene expression in sporozoites and liver stages using microarray and proteomics tools. In collaboration with other investigators at SBRI, he is using these data sets to hung for subunit vaccine candidates.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed