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Peter D. Crompton, M.D., M.P.H.
Twinbrook II, Room 125
12441 Parklawn Drive
Rockville, MD 20852-8180
Phone: 301-496-2959

Laboratory of Immunogenetics

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Peter D. Crompton, M.D., M.P.H.

Photo of Peter D. Crompton

Chief, Malaria Infection Biology and Immunity Unit, LIG

Major Areas of Research

  • Mechanisms of naturally acquired immunity to malaria
  • Antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum infection
  • B- and T-cell biology of P. falciparum infection
  • Regulation of P. falciparum-induced inflammation
  • Systems immunology of human malaria

Program Description

Approximately 500 million cases of P. falciparum malaria occur annually among the world’s poorest populations, claiming the lives of nearly a million children each year in Africa alone. The development of a malaria vaccine is widely viewed as a key step toward malaria control and possibly eradication, yet current malaria vaccine candidates confer only partial, short-lived protection at best. Optimism that a highly effective malaria vaccine can be developed stems in part from the observation that humans can acquire immunity to malaria through repeated P. falciparum infections. However, the nature of the immune response that confers protection against malaria is poorly understood. In the Malaria Infection Biology and Immunity Unit (MIBIU), we aim to fill this critical knowledge gap by applying recent advances in immunology and genomics-based technology to carefully conducted longitudinal cohort studies in malaria-endemic areas. Ultimately, an improved understanding of the human immune response to P. falciparum infection is likely to provide key insights into how malaria immunity can be enhanced through vaccination. Objectives of ongoing MIBIU projects include the following:

  • To obtain high-quality clinical data and biospecimens from longitudinal cohort studies in Mali in which exposure to P. falciparum infection and immunity and susceptibility to malaria are reliably assessed
  • To gain an understanding the antigen specificity, function, and kinetics of the antibody response to P. falciparum as well as the B- and T-cell biology that underlies this response
  • To determine the mechanisms by which P. falciparum-induced inflammation is regulated
  • To identify molecular signatures of immunity to malaria through systems biology approaches
  • To define the human and P. falciparum parasite factors that underlie persistent asymptomatic P. falciparum infection in endemic areas

The cohort studies we conduct in Mali are made possible through a close collaboration with an experienced team of clinicians and scientists at the Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Bamako. Our field studies in Mali are supported by the NIAID International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER) program. In collaboration with our colleagues in Mali, we not only conduct longitudinal studies of malaria immunology but also facilitate the expansion of research capacity by training young Malian scientists, improving laboratory and clinical infrastructure, and enhancing information technology capabilities in Mali. To expand the scope of our work and to maximize the knowledge gained from our cohort studies in Mali, we collaborate with experts in parasite biology, basic immunology, genomics, bioinformatics, statistics, and computational biology. For example, with funding from the NIAID Genomic Sequencing Centers for Infectious Diseases, we collaborate with the J. Craig Venter Institute to incorporate sequencing-based technologies into the analysis of our cohort studies in Mali, with the goal of identifying transcriptomic signatures that correlate with protection from malaria.

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Dr. Crompton received his M.D. and M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health in 2000. He then completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University in Boston before going on to a fellowship in infectious diseases at NIAID in 2004. After a year of clinical training at NIAID, he earned a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine before joining the Laboratory of Immunogenetics in 2005 to pursue his research interest in the human immune response to malaria. In 2010, he became a tenure-track investigator and chief of the Malaria Infection Biology and Immunity Unit within the Laboratory of Immunogenetics. Dr. Crompton is certified in internal medicine and infectious disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Research Group


Photo of the research group at the Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Bamako in Mali
Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Bamako, Mali. From left to right: (back row) Didier Doumtabe, Pharm.D.; Safiatou Doumbo, M.D.; Abdrahamane Traore, M.D.; Bathily Aboudramane, M.D.; Shanping Li, M.Sc.; (front row) Peter Crompton, M.D., M.P.H.; Boubacar Traore, Pharm.D., Ph.D.; Kassoum Kayentao, M.D., M.P.H.; Aissata Ongoiba, M.D.
Photo of the research group at the Malaria Research and Training Center at the University of Bamako in Mali
Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Bamako, Mali. From left to right: Abdrahamane Traore, M.D.; Didier Doumtabe, Pharm.D.; Younoussou Kone, M.D.
Photo of Peter Crompton's field team in Kalifabougou, Mali
Field research team in Kalifabougou, Mali. The team provides medical care to the study volunteers; records clinical data; and obtains, processes, and transports biospecimens for immunological analyses

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Selected Publications

Tran TM, Samal B, Kirkness E, Crompton PD. Systems immunology of human malaria. Trends Parasitol. 2012 Jun;28(6):248-57.

Tan X, Traore B, Kayentao K, Ongoiba A, Doumbo S, Waisberg M, Doumbo OK, Felgner PL, Fairhurst RM, Crompton PD. Hemoglobin S and C heterozygosity enhances neither the magnitude nor breadth of antibody responses to a diverse array of Plasmodium falciparum antigens. J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec 1;204(11):1750-61.

Weiss GE, Clark EH, Li S, Traore B, Kayentao K, Ongoiba A, Hernandez JN, Doumbo OK, Pierce SK, Branch OH, Crompton PD. A positive correlation between atypical memory B cells and Plasmodium falciparum transmission intensity in cross-sectional studies in Peru and Mali. PLoS One. 2011 Jan 14;6(1):e15983.

Weiss GE, Traore B, Kayentao K, Ongoiba A, Doumbo S, Doumtabe D, Kone Y, Dia S, Guindo A, Traore A, Huang CY, Miura K, Mircetic M, Li S, Baughman A, Narum DL, Miller LH, Doumbo OK, Pierce SK, Crompton PD. The Plasmodium falciparum-specific human memory B-cell compartment expands gradually with repeated malaria infections. PLoS Pathog. 2010 May 20;6(5):e1000912.

Crompton PD, Kayala MA, Traore B, Kayentao K, Ongoiba A, Weiss GE, Molina DM, Burk CR, Waisberg M, Jasinskas A, Tan X, Doumbo S, Doumtabe D, Kone Y, Narum DL, Liang X, Doumbo OK, Miller LH, Doolan DL, Baldi P, Felgner PL, Pierce SK. A prospective analysis of the Ab response to Plasmodium falciparum before and after a malaria season by protein microarray. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 13;107(15):6958-63.

Crompton PD, Mircetic M, Weiss G, Baughman A, Huang CY, Topham DJ, Treanor JJ, Sanz I, Lee FE, Durbin AP, Miura K, Narum DL, Ellis RD, Malkin E, Mullen GE, Miller LH, Martin LB, Pierce SK. The TLR9 ligand CpG promotes the acquisition of Plasmodium falciparum-specific memory B cells in malaria-naive individuals. J Immunol. 2009 Mar 1;182(5):3318-26.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated March 25, 2013