The recently established Huck Center for Malaria Research (CMaR) at Penn State University brings together a large number of research groups that focus on the malaria parasite and its mosquito vector, providing a unique environment to study this global human health burden.
This collaborative center spans across multiple colleges and campuses (University Park, Hershey, York) of Penn State University, and leverages the strengths of community to elevate our research and to forge new collaborations.Our collective research interests include understanding:
- the effects of climate and climate change upon the transmission and development of the malaria parasite in the Anopheles mosquito.
- the modeling of infection/transmission dynamics in natural and laboratory settings.
- the possible effects of partially effective vaccines upon parasite virulence.
- the assessment of histone modifications.
- the control of by RNA-binding proteins upon transmission between the mosquito vector and mammalian host.
- the role of specific transcription factors in the regulated development of the parasite and commitment to sexual stage development.
- the immunological interactions between the host and pathogen.
- the control of parasite growth and development in mosquitoes through bacterial and fungal interventions.
- the role of external chemical stimuli to prompt vector/host interactions.
- the transmission dynamics across multiple seasons and the population genetics of the mosquito vectors.
- characterizing the metabolic network of malaria parasites and its dynamics
- the mechanisms of red blood cell invasion and resulting anemia to the host
- Meeting once per month to accommodate our calendars.
- Inviting world experts from outside of Penn State that are leaders in other research areas that can help to inform and carry our work to the next level. These visits would include a research seminar by the visitor plus a roundtable discussion (at least 2 hours) with the community to make these experts accessible to everyone.
- Providing a platform for 2-3 individuals per month to present their work to the Center, and to receive peer feedback and to foster collaborations.