Ferdig Lab


In 2010, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria worldwide resulting in 655,000 deaths [1]. Plasmodium falciparum is the intracellular parasite responsible for the majority of the world’s malaria morbidity and mortality burden in humans (estimated at 91%) and is primarily found in tropical regions of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for 81% of all malaria cases [1]. Efforts to control and eradicate malaria have been hampered by the accelerated evolution of drug resistance in the parasite. To date, the parasite has developed resistance to all major antimalarial drugs, raising concerns about the spread of drug-resistant parasites and the ability to effectively treat malaria [2]. Our research focuses on the genetics and genomics of Plasmodium falciparum using a wide array of tools and methods to gather biological insights into drug resistance and virulence of the parasite.

1.WHO: World Malaria Report 2011 Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011.

2.Enserink M: Malaria’s drug miracle in danger. Science 2010, 328:844-846.


Malaria Genetics and Genomics

P. falciparum parasite Schizonts @ Human Blood Stage