Jianbing Mu, M.D., Ph.D.

Malaria Genetics Section

Established in 1991

Rockville, MD

Jianbing Mu, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Scientist(Core), Malaria Genetics Section

Contact: For contact information, search the NIH Enterprise Directory.

Jianbing Mu, M.D., Ph.D.

Major Areas of Research

  • Genetic and epigenetic gene regulations in Plasmodium parasites
  • Molecular biology of malaria pathogenesis

Program Description

  • Parasites genetic diversity and associated phenotypes, such as antimalarial drug resistance and parasites virulence factors
  • Epigenetic and epitranscriptomic modifications in parasite development and identification of novel targets for antimalaria drugs or transmission blocking
  • Development of high-sensitivity assay for Plasmodium infection and others



M.D., Shanxi Medical University, China

Ph.D., Saitama Medical School, Japan

Dr. Mu received his M.D. from Shanxi Medical University, China, and his Ph.D. from Saitama Medical School, Japan. He then joined NIAID Division of Intramural Research in 2000 and served as visiting fellow, research fellow, and staff scientist. Now, Dr. Mu is an associate scientist in the office of the Chief of Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research (LMVR), NIAID. His research mainly focuses on the functional genomics of Plasmodium parasites, including the mechanisms of malaria gene regulation, drug responses, immune evasion, and pathogenesis by applying various approaches, such as genetic mapping and genome-wide association (GWA), genetic manipulation, epigenetic and epitranscriptomic modification. Findings from his research include the genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with P. falciparum resistance to antimalarial drugs, epigenetic regulation of antigenic variation in P. falciparum parasites, epitranscriptomic modification in P. falciparum gene regulations and the development of the high-sensitivity assay for Plasmodium infection. Dr. Mu serves as the Editorial Board member for journals including Current Genomics, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, and Journal of Tropical Medicine. Dr. Mu received numerous awards, including NIAID Merit Award and Performance Award.

Selected Publications

Liu M*, Guo G*, Qian P*, Mu J*, Lu B, He X, Fan Y, Shang X, Yang G, Shen S, Liu W, Wang L, Gu L, Mu Q, Yu X, Zhao Y, Culleton R, Cao J, Jiang L, Wellems TE, Yuan J, Jiang C, Zhang Q (2022) 5-methylcytosine modification by Plasmodium NSUN2 stabilizes mRNA and mediates the development of gametocytes.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1;119(9):e2110713119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2110713119.

Mu J, Yu LL, Wellems TE (2020) Sensitive Immunoassay Detection of Plasmodium Lactate Dehydrogenase by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. Jan 11;10:620419. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.620419.

Xiao B, Yin S, Hu Y, Sun M, Wei J, Huang Z, Wen Y, Dai X, Chen H, Mu J, Cui L, Jiang L (2019) Epigenetic editing by CRISPR/dCas9 in Plasmodium falciparum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jan 2;116(1):255-260. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813542116.

Mu J, Andersen JF, Valenzuela JG, Wellems TE (2017) High-Sensitivity Assays for Plasmodium falciparum Infection by Immuno-Polymerase Chain Reaction Detection of PfIDEh and PfLDH Antigens.J Infect Dis. Sep 15;216(6):713-722. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix369.

Jiang L*, Mu J*, Zhang Q, Ni T, Srinivasan P, Rayavara K, Yang W, Turner L, Lavstsen T, Theander TG, Peng W, Wei G, Jing Q, Wakabayashi Y, Bansal A, Luo Y, Ribeiro JM, Scherf A, Aravind L, Zhu J, Zhao K, Miller LH (2013) PfSETvs methylation of histone H3K36 represses virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum. .Nature. Jul 11;499(7457):223-7. doi: 10.1038/nature12361. 

Mu J, Myers RA, Jiang H, Liu S, Ricklefs S, Waisberg M, Chotivanich K, Wilairatana P, Krudsood S, White NJ, Udomsangpetch R, Cui L, Ho M, Ou F, Li H, Song J, Li G, Wang X, Seila S, Sokunthea S, Socheat D, Sturdevant DE, Porcella SF, Fairhurst RM, Wellems TE,

Awadalla P, Su XZ (2010) Plasmodium falciparum genome-wide scans for positive selection, recombination hot spots and resistance to antimalarial drugs. Nat Genet. Mar;42(3):268-71. doi: 10.1038/ng.528.

Visit PubMed for a complete publications listing

Tools & Equipment

Sanger sequencing (ABI3730xl) and illumina NextSeq 550 System are available for genotyping, DNA sequencing, whole-genome sequencing and RNA-seq etc.

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