Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Host-Pathogen Interactions and Vaccinology, IRLFS (Research Programme)

Lecturer in Vaccinology.

My research for the past 19 years has focused on the characterisation of molecules involved in invasion and host cell modification pathways in Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. My laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College in London is studying the role of surface-exposed proteins during the process of host cell invasion in the closely related parasitic genera of Plasmodium and Babesia. Using CRISPR-Cas9-generated transgenic knockout parasites we aim to find universal pathways and molecules essential for host cell invasion in order to exploit these as potential vaccine/drug targets.

Divergent roles for the RH5 complex components, CyRPA and RIPR, in human-infective malaria parasites. Knuepfer E, Wright KE, Prajapati SK, Rawlinson TA, Mohring F, Koch M, Lyth OR, Howell SA, Villasis E, Snijders AP, Moon RW, Draper SJ, Rosanas-Urgell A, Higgins MK, Baum J, Holder AA PLoS Pathog, 15(6), e1007809 doi:org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007809 (2019).

The Plasmodium falciparum rhoptry bulb protein RAMA plays an essential role in rhoptry neck morphogenesis and host red blood cell invasion. Sherling ES, Perrin AJ, Knuepfer E, Russell MRG, Collinson LM, Miller LH, Blackman MJ. PLoS Pathog, 15(9), e1008049, doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008049 (2019)

Generating conditional gene knockouts in Plasmodium – a toolkit to produce stable DiCre recombinase-expressing parasite lines using CRISPR/Cas9. Knuepfer E, Napiorkowska M, van Ooij C, Holder AA Sci Rep, 7(1), e3881 doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03984-3 (2017).

Binding of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface proteins DBLMSP and DBLMSP2 to human immunoglobulin M is conserved among broadly divergent sequence variants.
Crosnier C, Iqbal Z, Knuepfer E, Maciuca S, Perrin AJ, Kamuyu G, Goulding D, Bustamante LY, Miles A, Moore SC, Dougan G, Holder AA, Kwiatkowski DP, Rayner JC, Pleass RJ, Wright GJ. J Biol Chem, 219(27), 14285-14299  doi:10.1074/jbc.M116.722074 (2016)

The Plasmodium class XIV myosin, MyoB, has a distinct subcellular location in invasive and motile stages of the malaria parasite and an unusual light chain. Yusuf NA, Green JL, Wall RJ, Knuepfer E, Moon RW, Schulte-Huxel C, Stanway RR, Martin SR, Howell SA, Douse CH, Cota E, Tate EW, Tewari R, Holder AA. J Biol Chem, 290(19), 12147-12164 doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.637694 (2015). 

Neutralization of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites by antibodies against PfRH5.
Douglas AD, Williams AR, Knuepfer E, Illingworth JJ, Furze JM, Crosnier C, Choudhary P, Bustamante LY, Zakutansky SE, Awuah DK, Alanine DG, Theron M, Worth A, Shimkets R, Rayner JC, Holder AA, Wright GJ, Draper SJ.
J Immunol, 192(1), 245-258 doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1302045 (2014).

RON12, a novel Plasmodium-specific rhoptry neck protein important for parasite proliferation.
Knuepfer E, Suleyman O, Dluzewski AR, Straschil U, O'Keeffe AH, Ogun SA, Green JL, Grainger M, Tewari R, Holder AA.
Cell Microbiol, 16(5), 657-672 doi:/10.1111/cmi.12181 (2014).

  • SweetAnimals

    The SweetAnimal project studies the presence of sugar-binding receptors in the genomes of a variety of farmed animals, how these differ between species, what ligands expressed on pathogens they bind, and how this information can be used to develop carbohydrate-based vaccines.

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