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Erwan Atcheson

DPhil Candidate in Neglected Tropical Diseases: P Vivax Malaria, Dengue and Chagas, Reyes-Sandoval Group

My work is focused on developing a vaccine for malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax.  Vivax malaria is a serious and neglected tropical disease with 132-391 million clinical cases per year and 2.5 billion people at risk of infection. An effective vaccine against this disease would have a considerable impact and would play a crucial role in eradicating the disease. I am developing a pre-erythrocytic vaccine targeting the sporozoite and liver stages in the human host. The two leading malaria subunit vaccines, circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and thrombospondin-related adhesion protein (TRAP) are both pre-erythrocytic but neither provides optimal protection in clinical trials. My strategy for improving these vaccines has focused on combining them. In pre-clinical studies using a transgenic rodent malaria model I have demonstrated that combining vivax CSP and TRAP vaccines enhances protection against malaria challenge. I am also investigating the differential effects of adjuvants on combining vaccines and I am developing a cross-species vivax/falciparum malaria vaccine. I will now expand my combination vaccine work to include new candidates.

Key publications

McCoy CJ, Warnock ND, Atkinson LE, Atcheson E, Martin RJ, Robertson AP, Maule AG, Marks NJ, Mousley A. 2015. RNA interference in adult Ascaris suum--an opportunity for the development of a functional genomics platform that supports organism-, tissue- and cell-based biology in a nematode parasite. Int. J. Parasitol. 45:673-678.

Varghese F, Atcheson E, Bridges HR, Hirst J. 2015. Characterization of clinically identified mutations in NDUFV1, the flavin-binding subunit of respiratory complex I, using a yeast model system. Hum. Mol. Genet. 24:6350–6360.

Atcheson, E, Hamilton E, Pathmanathan S, Greer B, Harriott P, Timson DJ. 2011. IQ-motif selectivity in human IQGAP2 and IQGAP3: binding of calmodulin and myosin essential light chain. Biosci. Rep. 31:371-379.