Anirudha Lakshminarasimhan

Programme: Identifying protein effectors against the malarial parasite

Our team develops antibody and nanobody ‘effectors’ against the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Antibody fragments have been demonstrated to block the transmission of Plasmodium within mosquitoes, and they have the advantage of being highly specific. These are therefore our effectors of choice.

The Plasmodium life cycle is complex both within the mosquito and the human. We target its life cycle in the mosquito and select stage-specific antigen molecules for the blockade of parasite transmission. We use various recombinant technologies, as well as biophysical and biochemical characterisation, to develop effector antibody fragments with better stability, affinity and avidity against the selected Plasmodium antigens. By expressing them singly or in combination, we aim to effectively and efficiently block Plasmodium transmission in mosquitoes.

Identification of efficacious antibody fragments against Plasmodium antigens

Plasmodium antigens and their corresponding antibodies are expressed and purified in cell culture. These are tested in vitro for their efficacy. Subsequent protein engineering strategies are used to design more efficacious antibodies.

The Protein Engineering team

From left to right: Ashwathi V, Serene Xavier, Deepak KJ, Anirudha Lakshminarasimhan, Vysakh Viswanath, Parvathy Vijayan