Photini Sinnis

Sinnis Photini 250

Photini Sinnis is Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on the infective stage of the malaria parasite, sporozoites. Her laboratory has quantitatively described this transmission bottleneck and begun to elucidate how sporozoites overcome physical and immunological obstacles to establish infection. She is also interested in the function of the major surface protein of the sporozoite, CSP, a leading malaria vaccine candidate. These studies have found that CSP changes conformation as sporozoites migrate from the inoculation site to the liver: Upon reaching the liver, CSP is proteolytically cleaved, leading to the exposure of the cell-adhesion domain in the C-terminus, and signalling to the parasite to switch from a migratory to an invasive state. The overall goal of this work is to inform the design of next-generation malaria vaccines targeting this early stage of malaria infection.