Blog | Early Career Research Fund 2022

By Aline Freville
Aline's poster for the website

I am very grateful for the LSHTM Malaria Centre which provided me with an award to attend the 2022 Molecular Parasitology Meeting (MPM) in Woods Hole, USA. It was my first visit of this part of the country and I was delighted to discover Cape Cod postcard landscapes and lovely harbours.

The conference ran from the 18th until the 22nd of September and was organized as a hybrid event but it was a great pleasure of mine to be able to attend it in person. The MPM covers various aspect of parasites biology and it was really exciting to hear about the most recent advances not only in Plasmodium but also in Toxoplasma, trypanosoma, Leishmania and Cryptosporidium research.

I was really impressed by the number of topics covered during the conference, going from large scale analysis aiming to decipher genes epigenetic and transcriptional regulation to the latest advances in electromagnetic microscopy to observe in great details the parasite sub-cellular organisation. Among the many highlights of this meeting I was particularly interested to hear about the most recent data regarding Plasmodium falciparum early ring development. Apparently, this stage of the parasite growth can happen without prior host cell invasion, providing Plasmodium to be left in an environmental chamber where merozoites can attach strongly enough to a cover glass.

On the second day of the conference, I presented my research as a written communication entitled: “PV6: A Plasmodium protein required for expansion of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane”. I showed my most recent work on PV6, a phospholipid transfer protein, probably involved in the parasitophorous vacuole membrane expansion and critical to Plasmodium ring-stage development. I was delighted to see how attendees of the poster sessions engaged with the presenter’s research. I received many nice and constructive comments and interesting feedback on my work.

I would like to thank the Malaria Centre for their continued support and for giving me the opportunity to attend such an amazing and inspiring conference.

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