Dr Michael Delves


Assistant Professor
of Parasitology


Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I originally studied Biochemistry at Imperial College before completing a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology in 2008. I then moved into the field of malaria transmission research in the Lab of Prof Bob Sinden, playing an instrumental part in establishing the Medicines for Malaria Venture Centre of Excellence at Imperial and developing gold standard high throughput assays for the discovery of new transmission-blocking antimalarial drugs.


In 2018 I moved to LSHTM to begin an independent career focusing on Plasmodium falciparum transmission cell biology and in Feb 2021 I was awarded the MRC Career Development Award Fellowship.


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Department of Infection Biology


Malaria Centre


Whereas Plasmodium asexual parasites are responsible for malarial disease symptoms and pathology, it is the male and female gametocyte stages that are responsible for parasite transmission from humans to mosquitoes. Due to their divergent cell biology and different lifestyle choices, gametocytes are insensitive to most antimalarial drugs. This can lead to the unfortunate situation where a malarial patient can be “cured” of their disease symptoms, but still be infectious to mosquitoes, thus allowing the parasite (and drug resistant alleles) to propagate. My overall research goal is to accelerate the discovery of new therapeutics that prevent parasite transmission. To achieve this, I have four ongoing research projects:

  1. Using phenotypic imaging to characterise novel transmission blocking molecules
  2. How do gametocytes regulate energy metabolism in their quiescent state?
  3. What are the biological differences between male and female gametocytes and can these be exploited?
  4. Developing new “open source” tools for better P. falciparum gametocyte culture and mosquito transmission.
Research Area
Drug discovery and development
Disease control
Cell biology
Disease and Health Conditions

Selected Publications

The antimalarial efficacy and mechanism of resistance of the novel chemotype DDD01034957.
Miguel-Blanco C; Murithi JM; Benavente ED; Angrisano F; Sala KA; van Schalkwyk DA; Vanaerschot M; Schwach F; Fuchter MJ; Billker O
Scientific reports
Fueling Open Innovation for Malaria Transmission-Blocking Drugs: Hundreds of Molecules Targeting Early Parasite Mosquito Stages
Delves M; Lafuente-Monasterio MJ; Upton L; Ruecker A; Leroy D; Gamo F-J; Sinden R
Frontiers in Microbiology
Antimalarial Transmission-Blocking Interventions: Past, Present, and Future.
Delves MJ; Angrisano F; Blagborough AM
Trends in parasitology
An inexpensive open source 3D-printed membrane feeder for human malaria transmission studies.
Witmer K; Sherrard-Smith E; Straschil U; Tunnicliff M; Baum J; Delves M
Malaria journal
Failure of <i>in vitro</i> differentiation of <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i> gametocytes into ookinetes arises because of poor gamete fertilisation
Delves M; Marques S; Ruecker A; Straschil U; Miguel-Blanco C; López-Barragá M; Lelièvre J; Molina I; Wree M; Okitsu S
Routine in vitro culture of P. falciparum gametocytes to evaluate novel transmission-blocking interventions.
Delves MJ; Straschil U; Ruecker A; Miguel-Blanco C; Marques S; Dufour AC; Baum J; Sinden RE
Nature protocols
A male and female gametocyte functional viability assay to identify biologically relevant malaria transmission-blocking drugs.
Ruecker A; Mathias DK; Straschil U; Churcher TS; Dinglasan RR; Leroy D; Sinden RE; Delves MJ
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Male and female Plasmodium falciparum mature gametocytes show different responses to antimalarial drugs.
Delves MJ; Ruecker A; Straschil U; Lelièvre J; Marques S; López-Barragán MJ; Herreros E; Sinden RE
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
The activities of current antimalarial drugs on the life cycle stages of Plasmodium: a comparative study with human and rodent parasites.
Delves M; Plouffe D; Scheurer C; Meister S; Wittlin S; Winzeler EA; Sinden RE; Leroy D
PLoS medicine
A high-throughput assay for the identification of malarial transmission-blocking drugs and vaccines.
Delves MJ; Ramakrishnan C; Blagborough AM; Leroy D; Wells TNC; Sinden RE
International journal for parasitology
See more Publications