Graduate Program in Life Sciences– PhD in Epidemiology and Human Genetics, Molecular Epidemiology Track
Mark Travassos, MD, MSc
Brief Summary of Research Project:
I study the var gene family of Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite responsible for the most malaria deaths. Var genes encode antigens that mediate cytoadhesion to host cells and play a critical role in immune evasion. I am interested in how the expression of var genes at the RNA and protein level is associated with severe malaria. Identification of antigens associated with the development of severe disease will determine potential vaccine targets and inform the treatment of severe disease.
Previous Degrees (undergraduate/graduate) and Institution:
BA in Microbiology, Minor in Molecular Biology from Miami University, Oxford, OH
Achievements and Honors:
- Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow
- Awarded a Diversity Supplement under the R01HL130750 “Variant surface antigens in cerebral malaria pathogenesis”, to study the role of var genes in cerebral malaria.
My interests outside of lab include participating in various team sports and baking. My lab mates usually enjoy trying the results of my many baking “experiments”.