Vasant Muralidharan


Research in the Muralidharan lab is aimed at understanding the biology of Plasmodium, the deadly human parasite that causes malaria. It is a disease that afflicts nearly 500 million people and causes almost a million deaths each year. Our goal is to uncover the molecular mechanisms that drive the parasitic life cycle of Plasmodium. The aim of this research is to leverage our knowledge of parasite biology towards development of intervention strategies that disrupt the disease process. We deploy a wide variety of tools to study the parasite including CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering, cellular biology, chemical biology, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Our research focuses on organelle biology in this deeply branched eukaryote. We are particularly interested in the biology of the endoplasmic reticulum and the four-membrane plastid known as the apicoplast. The ER of Plasmodium is the start of a complex and highly branched protein trafficking pathway. The apicoplast is a unique parasite-specific organelle that provides essential metabolic pathways to these organisms.

Selected Publications


Vasant Muralidharan interviewed on The Athens Frontline Podcast

Ph.D. candidate Ale Villegas and advisor Vasant Muralidharan receive Gilliam Graduate Fellowship Award

UGA researchers discover a new drug target in the plastid of malaria parasites

Trainee Spotlight: Anat Florentin

Anat Florentin receives 2018 Postdoctoral Research Award

UGA Researcher Seeks to Unlock Secrets of Malaria Parasite

An ancient bacterial protein complex in human malaria parasites is essential for parasite growth

Trainee Spotlight: Manuel Fierro

Muralidharan receives the Basil O’Conner Starter Scholar Research Award

Muralidharan receives $150,000 to investigate new drug targets for malaria

V. Muralidharan

Vasant Muralidharan
Associate Professor, Department of Cellular Biology

345A Coverdell
(office) 706-583-0388
(lab) 706-542-7903