Department of Biology, Division of Science and Mathematics, New York University Abu Dhabi,
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
He received a Ph.D. in Genetics at North Carolina State University under a Fulbright Scholarship for work demonstrating how environmental and lifestyle effects dominate genetic influences in human immune system. He received a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship and participated in the 1000 Genomes Project and a large program in medical and population genomics in Canada. In 2014, he joined the faculty of New York University Abu Dhabi and established a research program on population and medical genomics of complex traits with focus on malaria. His research group uses high-dimensional genomic datasets from single-cells, tissues and cells, and use bioinformatics and statistical genetic approaches to analyze the data.
Title of the talk: Integrative genomic approaches to study in vivo host response to Plasmodium infection
Malaria is a complex infectious disease with many genetic and environmental determinants influencing host immune response to infection, the progression of the disease and its severity. To date, surveys of host molecular responses used largely cross-sectional study designs and there is a need to complement current mapping strategies to study the temporal dynamics of host response to infection. To investigate how multiple cellular and molecular traits change during the course of Plasmodium falciparum infection, a pediatric cohort in Burkina Faso was recruited, sampled and profiled before infection, during asymptomatic and symptomatic infection and after treatment. We investigate how infection modulates the epigenome of peripheral blood of the patients as well as T cells using single-cell genomic approaches. These analyses document the nature, magnitude and significance of molecular changes taking place during the course of infection. This research provides a high-resolution picture of temporal transcriptional changes in a highly malaria-endemic region.