Malaria Experimental Genetics

8–14 May 2016

Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK


This laboratory-based advanced course will give participants a working
knowledge of and practical experience in cutting edge Plasmodium
experimental genetics techniques, from designing gene targeting vectors
and creating transgenic parasites to phenotyping the strains produced.
The goal is to facilitate the participants’ own research careers by
exposing them to state-of-the-art experimental approaches, discussing the
advantages and limitations of each approach, and facilitating networking.

The week-long residential course will cover experimental approaches to
generating genetic mutations in both human parasites (Plasmodium
and Plasmodium knowlesi) and rodent parasites
(Plasmodium berghei). The course is hands-on and attendees will
generate gene targeting constructs, carry out different transfection
approaches, undertake practical exercises in gentoyipng of modified
parasites, and both observe and learn advanced molecular phenotyping
approaches. There will be a particular focus on new scalable approaches,
including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and parallel phenotyping by barcode
sequencing. The laboratory-based programme will be complemented by
specific lectures in cutting-edge areas presented by a panel of
distinguished guest speakers.

Feedback from previous courses
“This was a great course, very well organized and full of useful
material, I will definitely recommend to others”
“It is a great opportunity, unique. I am extremely grateful to Wellcome
by have been able to participate”
“I am certain that the knowledge that I gained in this course will aid me
in progressing my research.”
“I think the course was absolutely wonderful and I learnt a lot. All the
organisers were awesome.”


The overall programme strategy will be to follow a Plasmodium experimental genetics experiment from conception to completion, equipping attendees to design and carry out their own projects in the future. Topics to be covered will include:

Gene targeting vector construction

  • Recombineering-based approaches to vector construction
  • CRISPR-Cas9 based approaches
  • Consideration of the relative merits of different conditional expression approaches

Transfection and genotyping

  • Mechanics of transfection in P. berghei, P. knowlesi and P. falciparum
  • Verification of targeting using multiple genotyping techniques

Molecular phenotyping

  • Imaging approaches
  • Application of next generation sequencing to transcriptional profiling and quantitating parasite growth
  • Flow cytometry-based phenotyping platforms

Instructors and speakers

Course instructors
Dr Oliver Billker Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,
Hinxton, UK
Dr Marcus Lee Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton,
Dr Julian Rayner Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,
Hinxton, UK

Guest speakers
Dan Goldberg Washington University, USA
Tania De Koning-Ward
Deakin University, Australia
Nisha Philip
University of Glasgow, UK
Artur Scherf
Institut Pasteur, France
Moritz Treeck
The Francis Crick Institute, UK

How to apply

This course is aimed at postdoctoral scientists, PhD students or
clinician scientists engaged in, or soon to commence, relevant research.

course is subsidised by the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses
and Scientific Conferences Programme. This is a residential
course and
there is a fee of £765 towards board and lodging for non-commercial
applicants. Please contact us for the commercial fee.

Applications for this course can be completed online. If you have any
problems with the online application process, please contact us.

Please note: Applications
must be supported by a
recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor or
head of department). A request for a supporting
statement will be sent
to your nominated sponsor automatically during
the application process.
Applicants must ensure that their sponsor
provides this supporting
statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting
statement cannot be considered.

Deadline for Applications: Closed



Advanced Courses are subsidised for non-commercial applicants from
anywhere in the world. Limited bursaries are
available (up to 50% of the
course fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a
bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online application

Please note that both the applicant
and sponsor are required to provide
a justification for the
bursary as part of the application.

Bursary terms and conditions

UK Courses (held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton,
limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
awarded by the selection committee according to merit. The bursary
covers a maximum of 50% of the course fee, though in exceptional
circumstances an application for the total course fee may be considered.
Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may
issue smaller amounts. We cannot assist with travel costs to attend UK

Overseas Courses (held outside of the UK)
limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
awarded on merit to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance. The
maximum award for travel (economy class) will be £750.

Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form.
will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on
course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The
decision of the selection committee is

Back to top Back to top