Imperial College London

Professor Jake Baum

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Cell Biology and Infectious Diseases



+44 (0)20 7594 5420jake.baum Website




609Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Throughout its complex lifecycle the malaria parasites, from the genus Plasmodium, must traverse tissues and invade a diversity of host cells to ensure successful propagation of their lifecycle. Each lifecycle stage is exquisitely designed for cell movement, tissue targeting and host cell invasion, yet we still do not understand the basic mechanics of how the parasite motor produces force and translates this into powerful movement or cell penetration. Unlike all other eukaryotic cells, the malaria parasites rely on an internal actin-myosin motor, linked through to the outside world through secreted surface adhesins across which it literally glides.

Our lab is focused on reconstructing Plasmodium gliding motor function in vitro, its regulation and in a cellular context exploring how the core factors that control motility are distributed. Our work covers the spectrum of scales from single molecule through to whole cell, biochemistry through structural biology and cell biology and, since moving to Imperial, the mysterious world of biophysics.

Ultimately our goal is to break apart Plasmodium motility at every level to generate fundamental understanding into parasite biology and identify potential targets to stop the parasite dead in its tracks!



Baragana B, Forte B, Choi R, et al., 2019, Lysyl-tRNA synthetase as a drug target in malaria and cryptosporidiosis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:116, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:7015-7020

Yahiya S, Rueda-Zubiaurre A, Delves MJ, et al., 2019, The antimalarial screening landscape-looking beyond the asexual blood stage., Curr Opin Chem Biol, Vol:50, Pages:1-9

Malpartida-Cardenas K, Rodriguez-Manzano J, Yu L-S, et al., 2018, Allele-Specific Isothermal Amplification Method Using Unmodified Self-Stabilizing Competitive Primers, Analytical Chemistry, Vol:90, ISSN:0003-2700, Pages:11972-11980

Fang H, Gomes AR, Klages N, et al., 2018, Epistasis studies reveal redundancy among calcium-dependent protein kinases in motility and invasion of malaria parasites, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Delves MJ, Miguel-Blanco C, Matthews H, et al., 2018, A high throughput screen for next-generation leads targeting malaria parasite transmission, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

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