The Absalon Lab 

Welcome to the Absalon Lab

The eradication of malaria would save more than 400,000 lives annually and prevent approximately 200 million cases of disease each year. In our lab, we are interested in studying the fundamental biology of the most severe type of malaria which is caused by Plasmodium falciparumClinical malaria results from the asexual proliferation of parasites in human red blood cells. However, cell cycle progression and regulation in Plasmodium spp. parasites are poorly understood. Importantly,  the process of the cellular division is so different in malaria parasites than in human cells, that an understanding of the molecular mechanism of Plasmodium replication could unveil novel targets for the treatment of malaria across the parasite life cycle.

The lab's current projects aim to investigate:

  • How parasites couple nuclear division cycles with cell growth

  • How parasites form and shape their nuclear envelope during multiple rounds of asynchronous mitosis

  • How to physically magnify Plasmodium parasites using the expansion microscopy method.

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Lab news & Happenings

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Team U-ExM is expanding for the Summer

with Beatrice Thungu 

Beatrice is a 4th-year medical student at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM). She joined Dr. Absalon's Lab in August 2021 for a duration of 3-weeks. She is interested in understanding the life cycle of Plasmodium Falciparum using ultrastructural expansion microscopy. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, biking, and spending time with family.

We have now giant Plasmodium in the lab



Dr. Ben Liffner successfully expanded Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage parasite using ultrastructure expansion microscopy (U-ExM)

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Curious to know why our research topic is nuclear envelope biology in Plasmodium parasites?

Go read this commentary paper:

Our laboratory is a part of the “BIP” (Biology of Intracellular Pathogens) group at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM).

Located in downtown Indianapolis, IUSM is the largest medical school in the US and boasts an outstanding intellectual atmosphere and core facilities.

IUSM was nationally ranked in the Top 30 Best Places to Work for Postdocs. IUSM is an equal opportunity employer.