Xin-zhuan Su, Ph.D.

Chief, Malaria Functional Genomics Section

Major Areas of Research

  • Plasmodium genetics and genomics
  • Host-parasite interaction and molecular signaling
  • Antimalarial drug development and mechanisms of drug resistance

Program Description

Our laboratory develops and uses genetic and genomic approaches to study host-malaria parasite interaction and molecular mechanisms of the interaction using the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii as a model. We have characterized large numbers of microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from several P. yoelii parasites and performed various genetic crosses to identify parasite genes linked to parasite development, virulence, and drug resistance. We are studying host immune signaling pathways in response to parasite infections, focusing on innate signaling and regulation of type I interferon production and inflammatory responses after malaria infection.

We are also interested in screening and development of new antimalarial drugs, particularly compounds that can block malaria transmission.


Dr. Su received his Ph.D. in parasitology from the University of Georgia in 1990. He joined the NIAID 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

Malaria Functional Genomics Section Research Group
Credit: NIAID

Malaria Functional Genomics Section Research Group

Selected Publications

Wu J, Cai B, Sun W, Huang R, Liu X, Lin M, Pattaradilokrat S, Martin S, Qi Y, Nair SC, Bolland S, Cohen JI, Austin CP, Long CA, Myers TG, Wang RF, Su XZ. Genome-wide analysis of host-Plasmodium yoelii interactions reveals regulators of the type I interferon responseCell Rep. 2015 Jul 15;12:661-72.

Qi Y, Zhu F, Eastman RT, Fu Y, Zilversmit M, Pattaradilokrat S, Hong L, Liu S, McCutchan TF, Pan W, Xu W, Li J, Huang F, Su XZ. Regulation of Plasmodium yoelii oocyst development by strain- and stage-specific small-subunit rRNAMBio. 2015 Mar 10;6(2):e00117.

Pattaradilokrat S, Li J, Wu J, Qi Y, Eastman RT, Zilversmit M, Nair SC, Huaman MC, Quinones M, Jiang H, Li N, Zhu J, Zhao K, Kaneko O, Long CA, Su XZ. Plasmodium genetic loci linked to host cytokine and chemokine responsesGenes Immun. 2014 Apr-May;15(3):145-52.

Wu J, Tian L, Yu X, Pattaradilokrat S, Li J, Wang M, Yu W, Qi Y, Zeituni AE, Nair SC, Crampton SP, Orandle MS, Bolland SM, Qi CF, Long CA, Myers TG, Coligan JE, Wang R, Su XZ. Strain-specific innate immune signaling pathways determine malaria parasitemia dynamics and host mortalityProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 28;111(4):E511-20.

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 transmissionAntimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jan;57(1):425-35.

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 targetsScience. 2011;333(6043):724-9.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication listing.

Content last reviewed on March 7, 2016