Skip to main content


The Pathogenesis Unit within the Malaria Research Program studies the development of malarial disease, with a focus on severe malaria. Ongoing projects include elucidating the role of parasite variant surface antigens in malaria disease severity and understanding the mechanisms of protection afforded by hemoglobinopathies. We particularly focus on the use of omics tools to better understand malaria pathogenesis and vulnerability, trying to understand why some children need to be hospitalized for malaria while others have mild disease.

Key collaborators include the Malaria Research and Training Center in Mali, the the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Institute for Genome Sciences, and the Protein Microarray core within the UCI Vaccine Research and Development Center.

The unit is led by Dr. Mark A. Travassos, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist. Dr. Travassos focuses on severe malaria pathogenesis and epidemiology, working closely with collaborating investigators in Mali and Malawi.

Mark A. Travassos, MD, MSc