Dave Richard, PhD

Département de microbiologie-infectiologie et d’immunologie,
Université Laval –

Protein trafficking to the apical complex of the malaria parasite

Richard Lab malaria cells image
Malaria merozoite in the process of invading a red blood cell, imaged using super resolution microscopy. Published in Cell Host and Microbe, 2011.

Malaria is one of the world’s most common infectious diseases, with approximately 274 million cases each year and 1 million deaths, and thus represents one of the most devastating global public health problems.

Portrait of Dave Richard, 2013
Dave Richard, recipient of a 2013 Banting Research Foundation grant

The lack of an effective vaccine, the emergence of resistance to first-line drugs combined with the small number of suitable new drugs against the malaria parasite demonstrate the urgent need for the development and implementation of novel intervention strategies in the form of drugs, vector control measures and an effective vaccine. Invasion of a red blood cell by Plasmodium falciparum parasites is an essential step in the malaria lifecycle. Our laboratory is focused on dissecting this multi-step process since the molecular players involved likely represent key targets for both therapeutic and vaccine-based strategies to block parasite development.

See Dr Richard’s 2012 pitch to Grand Challenges Canada for developing a low-cost malaria vaccine.