Albert Zhou

Epidemiology and Human Genetics

Area of Doctoral Study: Epidemiology and Human Genetics
Undergraduate Institute: UMBC

Research Advisor: Mark Travassos, Ph.D.

Description of Research

Severe malaria has a significant case fatality rate and disproportionately affects young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of my dissertation is to understand how small proteins called RIFINs that are expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes play a role in severe malaria pathogenesis, particularly for different blood types, and become targets in naturally-acquired immunity. Little is known about RIFINs, and a better understanding of their involvement in severe malaria pathogenesis and immunity may aid efforts in designing vaccines to protect children and travelers from the deadliest consequences of malaria.