Ralph Group

“My interests lie in identifying and characterizing promising drug targets from Plasmodium falciparum and other parasites, as well as studying the modes of action and mechanisms of resistance for existing drugs” - Dr Stuart Ralph

Research

The Ralph group is interested in parasitic diseases, with a primary focus on the causative agent of severe malaria, Plasmodium falciparum.

The burden of disease-causing parasites is particularly high in developing countries, and inadequate resources are directed towards the development of much needed treatments.  Complete genome sequences are available for many of these parasites, so a wealth of data is available from which to search for potential targets for chemotherapeutic interventions. The group’s interests lie in identifying and characterising promising drug targets from Plasmodium falciparum and other parasites, as well as studying the modes of action and mechanisms of resistance for existing drugs.

Techniques

Various bioinformatic methods are used to screen for promising drug targets and molecular biological and cell biological methods (confocal and electron microscopy with transgenic parasites) as well as in vitro parasite culture to characterize and test potential parasite drug targets.  In collaboration with fellow Bio21 researcher, Professor Malcolm McConville, the group’s research is subjecting malaria parasites to metabolomic analyses to help understand the modes of action of existing and novel anti-malarial drugs.

Group Members

Group Head

Stuart Ralph

Postdoctoral Fellows

Susi Herrmann

Research Assistant

Erin Ee Ting Lim

PhD Students

Lee Yeoh

Charisse Flerida A. Pasaje

Kit Kennedy

Charlie Hwa Chua (co-supervised with Malcolm McConville)

Honours Student

Vanessa Cheung

Biography

Stuart Ralph is an Associate Professor and NHMRC RD Wright Biomedical Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His interests include the molecular and cell biology of apicomplexan parasites, and aspects of this biology that may be targeted by chemotherapeutic interventions. Dr Ralph joined the University of Melbourne, Bio21 Institute in 2007 after postdoctoral research positions at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.