Texas Biomed Staff

Ian Harry Cheeseman

Postdoctoral Scientist | Genetics
Phone: 210-258-9834
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Summary

The malaria parasite infects more than half a billion people each year, leading to close to a million deaths across sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South America. Mutations in the parasite genome are central to the sustained disease burden associated with malaria. Drug resistance mutations have occurred rapidly, limiting the use of the cheapest and most readily available treatments. There are multiple highly polymorphic gene families in the parasite genome, which slows the host’s acquisition of natural immunity against infection and limits the efficacy of tested vaccines.

I joined the Foundation in May 2010 to work with Tim Anderson, Ph.D., in the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, to explore the genetics of the most virulent of the human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum. I will be combining microarray technology, ‘next generation’ sequencing and in vitro parasite culture to measure the mutation rate in the parasite genome. A better understanding of the mutational process in the malaria parasite is key to tackling public health aspects of malaria infection, notably the emergence of drug resistance and the development of efficacious vaccines.

Education

Doctoral Degree: Ph.D. Genetics (2009)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , U.K.
Dissertation:

Analysis of copy number polymorphisms in clinical and in vitro cultured Plasmodium falciparum isolates


Master's Degree: Molecular Biology (2006)

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , U.K.

Bachelor's Degree Genetics (2004)

University of Leicester , U.K.

Publications

Distinct roles for FOXP3+ and FOXP3- CD4 T cells in regulating cellular immunity to uncomplicated and severe P. falciparum malaria.

Walther M, Jeffries D, Finney OC, Njie M, Ebonyi A, Deininger S, Lawrence E, Amambua-Ngwa A, Jayasooriya S, Cheeseman IH, Gomez-Escobar N, Okebe J, Conway DJ, Riley EM.
PLoS Pathogens 5: e1000364, 2009
PubMed ID: 19343213

Gene copy number variation throughout the Plasmodium falciparum genome.

Cheeseman IH, Gomez-Escobar N, Carret CK, Ivens A, Tetteh KKA, Stewart L, Conway DJ.
BMC Genomics 10: 353, 2009
PubMed ID: 19653891