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Adding Pieces to the Puzzle of Sexual Differentiation In P. falciparum: A Systematic Analysis of RNA Processing

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SPARk project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SPARk project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SPARk" about.

vector    rna    gap    phenotype    form    gene    mortality    binding    health    stages    developmental    modulate    underlying    treat    additionally    host    specialized    acquisition    community    generate    transgenic    switching    post    concentrated    children    regulation    endemic    disease    diseases    completion    gametocytogenesis    environments    plasmodium    gametocyte    mosquito    ing    elucidate    gametocytes    transcriptional    astonishing    young    employs    genes    resource    biology    school    malaria    falciparum    orchestrate    characterisation    preparatory    subset    living    time    harvard    countries    structured    genetic    upregulated    public    cycle    transformation    skills    life    heaviest    splicing    professional    rnas    reintegrate    me    poor    severe    genetics    differentiation    expression    times    mechanism    sexual    switches    causes    transmission    parasites    proteins    signals    add    phases    combination    devastating    stage    cellular    scientific    recombinantly    modern    onset   

Project "SPARk" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 35390

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-RI
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2018-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases in modern times, with the heaviest mortality concentrated in young children living in resource-poor environments. Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe form of malaria. The parasites have a complex life cycle, switching between a host and a mosquito vector. Transformation of a subset of parasites into specialized stages capable of sexual development – the gametocytes – is one of the most astonishing, yet not well understood, Plasmodium life cycle phases. As preparatory work for this proposal during my time at Harvard School of Public Health, I identified pathways specifically upregulated at the onset of sexual differentiation, an important gap in our knowledge of gametocytogenesis. Among these, four genes involved in different aspects of post-transcriptional gene regulation were highly upregulated. Studying this aspect of gametocyte biology can add to our understanding of how Plasmodium parasites orchestrate complex genetics switches and modulate the cellular response to developmental signals. The aim of this proposal is to provide insight how these RNA-binding proteins contribute to sexual stage-specific gene expression. This project employs genetic approaches to investigate the role of these proteins during sexual development of P. falciparum. For that I will generate transgenic parasites and analyse the resulting phenotype in detail. Additionally, this study aims at characterisation the splicing activity of recombinantly produced proteins and to determine target RNAs in order to elucidate the underlying mechanism of RNA processing control. This proposal can contribute to improved health conditions in malaria-endemic countries through a better understanding of malaria transmission and new approaches to treat the disease. Completion of the scientific project in combination with the proposed structured acquisition of professional skills will enable me to reintegrate into the European research community.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anna Katharina Schuh, Mahsa Rahbari, Franziska Mohring, Stanislaw J. Gabryszewski, Kim C. Heimsch, Stine Weder, Kathrin Buchholz, Stefan Rahlfs, David A. Fidock, Katja Becker
Stable integration and comparison of hGrx1-roGFP2 and sfroGFP2 redox probes in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum
published pages: , ISSN: 0891-5849, DOI:
Free Radical Biologie & Medicine 2019-06-13

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