Michelle Muthui


Dr. Melissa Kapulu Prof. Philip Bejon Dr. Andrew Blagborough


Prof. James Kahindi Prof. James Nokes Dr. Abdirahman Abdi Prof. Chris Drakeley

My research focus lies in identifying malaria parasite targets on the forms of the parasite responsible for human to mosquito transmission which if blocked by antibodies or drugs would inhibit the development of the parasite within the mosquito. These targets can then be used to aid the design of transmission-blocking vaccines which unlike conventional vaccines that protect against disease, prevent the transmission of malaria. I have previously worked on assessing the relationship between a parasite variant surface antigen (PfEMP1) and the different clinical manifestations of malaria using molecular assays in a bid to identify a subset of these antigens with a role in severe malaria. My background training is in biochemistry and molecular genetics which has not only helped me in my chosen field of study but also inspired me to delve deeper into parasite genetics. Aside from research, I like to participate in student mentorship programmes.


  1. Serological conservation of parasite-infected erythrocytes predicts PfEMP1 antigen expression but not childhood malaria severityWarimwe GM, Abdi AI, Muthui M, Fegan G, Musyoki JN, Marsh K, et al. | Infect Immun. 2016; doi:10.1128/IAI.00772-15.
  2. Global selection of Plasmodium falciparum virulence antigen expression by host antibodies., Abdi AI, Warimwe GM, Muthui MK, Kivisi CA, Kiragu EW, Fegan GW, et al. | Sci Rep. 2016;6: 19882. doi:10.1038/srep19882.
  3. Differential Plasmodium falciparum surface antigen expression among children with Malarial RetinopathyAbdi AI, Kariuki SM, Muthui MK, Kivisi C a., Fegan G, Gitau E, et al. | Sci Rep. Nature Publishing Group; 2015;5: 18034. doi:10.1038/srep18034.
  4. Evaluating controlled human malaria infection in Kenyan adults with varying degrees of prior exposure to Plasmodium falciparum using sporozoites administered by intramuscular injectionHodgson SH, Juma E, Salim A, Magiri C, Kimani D, Njenga D, et al. | Front Microbiol. 2014;5: 1–10. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00686.
  5. Measuring Soluble ICAM-1 in African PopulationsAbdi AI, Muthui M, Kiragu E, Bull PC | PLoS One. 2014;9: e108956. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108956.
  6. Plasmodium falciparum antigenic variation: relationships between widespread endothelial activation, parasite PfEMP1 expression and severe malaria. Abdi AI, Fegan G, Muthui M, Kiragu E, Musyoki JN, Opiyo M, et al. | BMC Infect Dis. BMC Infectious Diseases; 2014;14: 170. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-170.