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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Lia Chappell


In my current project (one year Post Doc following a 4 year Wellcome Trust PhD) I'm working on methods to study gene expression in Malaria parasites using high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies (RNA-seq). We hope eventually to produce a near-complete catalogue of parasite gene expression that will be helpful for scientists working in Malaria biology. I'm jointly supervised by Matt Berriman and Julian Rayner, and interact with researchers in the parasite genomics and malaria programme at the Sanger Institute. Before coming to Sanger I completed a Masters degree at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Biochemistry. I was at Emmanuel College for my undergraduate degree, and was also a member as a graduate student.

Departments and Institutes

Wellcome Sanger Institute:
Post Doctoral Fellow (Post Doc)

Research Interests

I'm continuing to investigate the transcriptomes of multiple species of malaria parasites, using new approaches for RNA-seq that I developed in my PhD project. We are currently preparing the results of these studies for publication. In the next few months we also hope to publish the details of these approaches to make the improved method available to the Malaria research community.


  • Genomics
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Transcription
  • Sequencing
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Regulation


  • Malaria

Key Publications

Vector transmission regulates immune control of Plasmodium virulence. Spence PJ, Jarra W, Lévy P, Reid AJ, Chappell L, Brugat T, Sanders M, Berriman M and Langhorne J Nature 2013 PUBMED: 23719378; DOI: 10.1038/nature12231; Finding a needle in a haystack. Microbial metatranscriptomes. Lia Chappell Nature reviews. Microbiology 2012;10;7;446 PUBMED: 22699963; DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2821; Expressions of individuality. Chappell L Nature reviews. Microbiology 2011;9;10;701 PUBMED: 21921932; DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2662; Phosphoinositide Metabolism Links cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase G to Essential Ca2+ Signals at Key Decision Points in the Life Cycle of Malaria Parasites Mathieu Brochet, Mark O. Collins, Terry K. Smith, Eloise Thompson, Sarah Sebastian, Katrin Volkmann, Frank Schwach, Lia Chappell, Ana Rita Gomes, Matthew Berriman, Julian C. Rayner, David A. Baker, Jyoti Choudhary,Oliver Billker PLOS Biology 2014