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Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research

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Xin-zhuan Su, Ph.D.

Photo of Xin-zhuan Su 

Chief, Malaria Functional Genomics Section, LMVR

Major Areas of Research

  • Plasmodium genetics and genomics
  • Mechanisms of antimalarial drug resistance and virulence
  • Host-parasite interaction and pathogenesis

Program Description

Our laboratory develops and uses genetic and genomic approaches to study mechanisms of drug resistance, virulence, genome diversity, population genetics, and evolution of malaria parasites. For example, large numbers of parasite isolates and progeny from genetic crosses are being typed using thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and the genotypes are being associated with or linked to differences in parasite response to large numbers of chemical compounds and drugs.

We also use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii as a model to study virulence factors and disease phenotypes. We have developed a microsatellite genetic map and performed several genetic crosses to identify genes associated with parasite development, virulence, and drug resistance. Other interests include gene expression regulation, mechanism of genetic recombination, and development of transmission blocking drugs.


Dr. Su received his Ph.D. in parasitology from the University of Georgia in 1990. He joined NIAID's Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases in 1992 and became an investigator in the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research in 2001 and a senior investigator in 2006.

Research Group

Richard Eastman
Dr. Richard Eastman
Sethu Nair
Dr. Sethu Nair
Photo of Dr. Norinne L. Queiroz
Dr. Norinne L. Queiroz
Mr. Yanwei Qi
Takeshi Tanaka
Dr. Takeshi Tanaka
Jian Wu
Dr. Jian Wu
Martine Zilversmit
Dr. Martine Zilversmit

Selected Publications

Eastman RT, Pattaradilokrat S, Raj DK, Dixit S, Deng B, Miura K, Yuan J, Tanaka TQ, Johnson RL, Jiang H, Huang R, Williamson KC, Lambert LE, Long C, Austin CP, Wu Y, Su XZ. A class of tricyclic compounds blocking malaria parasite oocyst development and transmission. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jan;57(1):425-35.

López-Barragán MJ, Lemieux J, Quiñones M, Williamson KC, Molina-Cruz A, Cui K, Barillas-Mury C, Zhao K, Su XZ. Directional gene expression and antisense transcripts in sexual and asexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum. BMC Genomics. 2011;12:587.

Jiang H, Li N, Gopalan V, Zilversmit MM, Varma S, Nagarajan V, Li J, Mu J, Hayton K, Henschen B, Yi M, Stephens R, McVean G, Awadalla P, Wellems TE, Su XZ. High recombination rates and hotspots in a Plasmodium falciparum genetic cross. Genome Biol. 2011;12(4):R33.

Miller LH, Su X. Artemisinin: discovery from the Chinese herbal garden. Cell. 2011;146(6):855-8.

Yuan J, Cheng KC, Johnson RL, Huang R, Pattaradilokrat S, Liu A, Guha R, Fidock DA, Inglese J, Wellems TE, Austin CP, Su XZ. Chemical genomic profiling for antimalarial therapies, response signatures, and molecular targets. Science. 2011;333(6043):724-9.

Li J, Pattaradilokrat S, Zhu F, Jiang H, Liu S, Hong L, Fu Y, Koo L, Xu W, Pan W, Carlton JM, Kaneko O, Carter R, Wootton JC, Su XZ. Linkage maps from multiple genetic crosses and loci linked to growth-related virulent phenotype in Plasmodium yoelii. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.;108(31):E374-82.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Last Updated March 26, 2013