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Wellcome Trust - Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research

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Studying at Cambridge

 

Dr Julian Rayner

Biography:

After undergraduate education in New Zealand and a PhD studying with Dr Hugh Pelham at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, Dr. Julian Rayner began working on malaria parasites as a post-doctoral fellow in 1998 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he identified a family of Plasmodium falciparum proteins involved in the recognition and invasion of human erythrocytes. In 2002 he became a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, before returning to Cambridge in 2008 to join the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Dr. Rayner’s group uses high throughput approaches, including genomics, proteomics and large scale experimental genetics, to investigate the molecular details of human-parasite interactions during the P. falciparum intra-erythrocytic stages, in order to identify and prioritise new drug and vaccine targets. Dr. Rayner is also Director of Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science, which aims to enable everyone to explore genomics and its impact on research, health and society. Connecting Science delivers learning and engagement events to more than 30,000 scientists, healthcare professionals and members of the public every year.

Departments and Institutes

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute:

Research Interests

Interests:

Malaria blood stage biology 

1)   Tools

a)   Scaling genetic approaches (Oliver Billker, Marcus Lee) 
b)   Protein/proteomics approaches (Gavin Wright, Jyoti Choudhary) 
c)    Genomic/transcriptomic approaches (Dominic Kwiatkowski, Matt Berriman)

2)   Projects 

a)   Experimental genetic tool development (P. falciparum, P. knowlesi, P. berghei) 
b)   Genetic screens (invasion pathways, drug targets) 
c)    Impact of genetic/transcriptional variation on phenotypes (human genetic variation, human/primate differences, parasite genetic variation) 
d)   Vaccine target identification and testing 
e)   Drug target identification and testing

Collaborations:

1)   West African Malaria Invasion Network (WAMIN) – functional testing of P. falciparum 

a)   invasion candidates 
b)   Gordon Awandare (University of Ghana),
c)    Alfred Ngwa-Amambua (MRC, Gambia), 
d)   Amy Bei (Senegal) 

2)   KEMRI-Kilifi– erythrocyte invasion 

a)   Faith Osier (shared PhD students), 
b)   mentor WT fellows (Isabella Ocholla. Abdi Abdirahman) 

3)   Goa Medical College – functional testing of P. vivax invasion candidates 

a)   Manoj Duraisingh(Harvard) 

4)   Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Genomic diversity in vaccine, drug candidate 

a)   Vladimir Corredor 

Between 2013 and 2018, the Centre supported collaborative partnerships and scientific training activities in basic biomedical and health-related research. This was achieved through coordinated cross-faculty research across departments and research institutes in Cambridge including The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute