Malaria Experimental Genetics (Bangkok, Thailand)

22–27 April 2018

Bangkok, Thailand


This free-to-attend, laboratory-based course will provide participants
with a working knowledge of, and practical experience in, cutting-edge
Plasmodium experimental genetics techniques; from designing gene
targeting vectors and creating transgenic parasites to genotyping and
phenotyping the resulting strains.

The 2018 course will be held in Bangkok, Thalland in collaboration with
Mahidol University Faculty of Tropical Medicine and is open to applicants
from Asia and Australasia.

The goal is to facilitate the participants’ own research careers by
exposing them to state-of-the-art experimental approaches, while
discussing the advantages and limitations of each approach. The course is
targeted to early career malaria scientists from Asia and Australasia who
are looking to establish and use Plasmodium transfection
technology at their host institutes.

The week-long course will cover experimental approaches to generating
genetic mutations in the human malaria parasites Plasmodium
and Plasmodium knowlesi The course is hands-on
and attendees will generate gene targeting constructs, perform different
transfection approaches, undertake practical exercises in genotyping 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. Experimental genetic approaches in other
malaria parasites including the rodent malaria model Plasmodium
will also be discussed. The laboratory-based programme will
be complemented by data analysis sessions and specific lectures in
cutting-edge areas presented by distinguished guest speakers.

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

  • CRISPR-Cas9
    based approaches.
  • Consideration of the relative merits of
    different conditional expression approaches

and genotyping

  • Mechanics of transfection in P.
    and P. knowlesi.
  • Verification of gene
    targeting using multiple genotyping techniques


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

Learning outcomes
After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • design CRISPR-Cas9 gene targeting constructs to engineer single point mutations and gene disruptions.
  • plan and execute P. falciparum and P. knowlesi transfection experiments, and genotype the resulting transfection progeny
  • evaluate the strengths and limitations of different reverse genetic techniques, including conditional gene technologies.
  • appreciate the range of phenotypic assays available for malaria experimental genetics

Instructors and speakers

Course instructors
John Adams University of South Florida,
Oliver Billker Wellcome Trust Sanger
Institute, Hinxton, UK
Ellen Bushell Wellcome Trust Sanger
Institute, Hinxton, UK
Tania de Koning-Ward, Deakin University,
Marcus Lee Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,
Hinxton, UK

Guest speakers
Thanat Chookajorn
Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand
Kesinee Chotivanich Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University,
Olivo Miotto Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
(MORU), Thailand
Jetsumon Prachumsri Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University,
Philip Shaw National Center for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand

How to apply

The course is open to scientists and clinicians based in Asia and
Australasia who are looking to establish and use Plasmodium
transfection technology at their institutes. Places are limited and
priority will be given to applicants who provide a strong scientific case
for learning Plasmodium genome modification.

The course will be taught in English.

Applications can be submitted online. Places are
limited and will be awarded on merit. 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


The course is subsidised by the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses
and Scientific Conferences Programme and is free to
for non-commercial applicants. Please contact us for
the commercial fee.

Limited bursaries to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance costs are
also available 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

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 costs. The
maximum award for travel (economy class) is £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

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