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Dr Martin Rono Receives People’s Choice Poster Prize at Conference
Dr Martin Rono was awarded the People’s Choice Poster Prize at the 8th BioMalPar Conference that was held between 14th and 16th May 2012 in Heidelberg, Germany. On winning the award, Dr Rono said “I am excited and humbled for the achievement and encouraged that our group’s work (Mackinnon group) was well received by the international community.”
Dr Rono’s winning presentation Identifying adaptive traits in Plasmodium falciparum through whole-transcriptome analysis of parasite populations is based on his work with Dr Margaret MacKinnon’s group that uses a molecular biology technique known as Microarray to understand how malaria parasites adapt to different human hosts.
As Martin explains, “ Microarray is a technique in which we measure the amount of genetic material called RNA to understand how an organism such as the malaria parasite respond to changes in its environment associated to drug pressure or our immunity.”
“ By understanding how the genetic material changes in the parasites, we may be able to identify key genetic factors responsible for making malaria parasites resistant to drugs, make them more dangerous (virulent) or adapt to its host ” he added.
BioMalPar is an annual malaria conference, started in 2005 and traditionally held at the European molecular biology laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. This particular conference aimed to address, in an integrated, collaborative manner, fundamental questions of the biology of the malaria parasite, its vector, and the disease, allowing optimal exploitation of the resulting knowledge to impact on public health.