BioMalPar XVII: Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite – Course and Conference Office

EMBL Conference

BioMalPar XVII: Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite


EMBL is committed to sharing research advances and sustaining scientific interaction throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We are delighted to announce that the conference is going virtual and invite you to join us online. The virtual conference includes talks from invited speakers, short talk presenters, online group discussions and networking opportunities.

Conference Overview

Malaria remains one of the most significant global public health challenges, with more than 200 million clinical cases worldwide each year. The lack of an effective licensed vaccine and the continual emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites emphasizes the need for new control and prevention strategies. This need for innovation has become even more apparent with the disruption of global malaria control programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential reversal of gains made over the last few decades. Generation of fundamental knowledge lies at the heart of developing new tools and innovations for malaria intervention. The malaria research community has a long history of being a highly collaborative field, reliant on diverse technologies, sharing of resources and dissemination of biological advances made. Accessibility and timely sharing of these advances through the establishment of new collaborations is therefore vital for the translation of new ideas into public health impact. 

The 17th BioMalPar conference follows the success of previous years, building on the foundations of the EU-funded Networks of Excellence EviMalaR and BioMalPar that, for one and a half decades, have brought together malaria researchers from around the world to present and share recent ground-breaking findings on fundamental malaria research in an integrated and highly collaborative environment. This year’s conference will address fundamental questions on the biology of the malaria parasite, its vector, the immune response of the host, the disease that it causes, and the latest technological approaches. In keeping with the traditions of BioMalPar and EviMalaR, the conference will emphasise training and networking, with a focus on allowing speaking opportunities for early career researchers. 

Session Topics

  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Parasite biology
  • Immunology and vaccinology
  • Epidemiology and clinical malaria
  • Vector biology and transmission
  • Systems biology
  • Emerging challenges and new tools

The conference series brings malaria researchers from around the world to present and share recent ground-breaking findings on fundamental malaria research in an integrated and highly collaborative environment.

The virtual BioMalPar will have:

  • live-streamed keynotes and short talks
  • lively Q&A sessions
  • digital poster presentations
  • a dedicated discussion platform for knowledge exchange and networking
  • access to recordings of some of the talks after the conference

What past participants say about the conference:

“This was my first time attending a virtual conference and the organisers did a good job at hosting and trying to resolve technical glitches efficiently. There was more ease in participation and engaging speakers with questions through virtual chats compared to conventional conference events. Through this virtual conference, I was exposed to the leading edge of malaria research which would provide new perspectives, flexibility, and build my expertise to inject value to my research in immunopathogenesis in Malaria.” – Samantha Nguee, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), A*STAR, Singapore. 


Keynote speakers

Marta Maia

KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi, Kenya

Scientific organisers

Emeritus Steering Group Members

Conference organisers


Got something to say? Tweet it! #EMBLMalaria

  • The virtual conference includes live-streamed keynote lectures and live-streamed selected short talks with a live discussion round after each virtual session.
  • All digital poster presenters are encouraged to upload a recorded flash talk or narration with their digital poster and to schedule video calls during poster session times.
  • Information on the live stream and access to the discussion platform and digital posters will be provided 1 week before the start of the event.
  • Access to the recorded talks will be available until 10 June 2021.

The following times are used in the programme below:

  • Central European Summer Time (CEST): eg. Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris
  • Eastern Daylight Time (EDT): eg. New York, Quebec

To find out the equivalent time zone in your location, enter Berlin, the CEST programme time
and your city into the Time Zone Converter.

Day 1 – Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Time (EDT)Time (CEST)Speaker
07:00-07:1013:00-13:10 Opening remarks
07:10-08:2513:10-14:25 Virtual Session 1: Host-parasite interactions
Chairs: tba
07:10-07:3513:10-13:35 Keynote lecture
Transcriptomics of vivax relapsing malaria
Liliana Mancio-Silva – Institut Pasteur, France
07:35-07:4513:35-13:45 Cerebral malaria parasites and the blood-brain-barrier – Spheroids for the investigation of endothelial ingress and transmigration
Yvonne Adams – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
07:45-07:5513:45-13:55 Illuminating the black box of Plasmodium falciparum liver stage gene expression
Gigliola Zanghi – Seattle Children’s Research Institute, United States of America
07:55-08:0513:55-14:05 Monocytes, membranes and malaria: Breakdown in phospholipid asymmetry and its effect on phagocytosis of Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes
Merryn Fraser – The Australian National University, Australia
08:05-08:2514:05-14:25 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 1
08:25-08:4014:25-14:40 Break
08:40-09:5514:40-15:55Virtual Poster session 1
(including live chats and discussion channels)
09:55-10:0015:55-16:00 Short break
10:00-11:1516:00-17:15 Virtual Session 2: Parasite biology
Chairs: tba
10:00-10:2516:00-16:25 Keynote lecture
Life in the fast lane, the fascinating biology of Plasmodium microgametogenesis
Mathieu Brochet – University of Geneva, Switzerland
10:25-10:3516:25-16:35 The molecular basis for cristae maintenance in Toxoplasma mitochondria
Alexander Mühleip – Science for Life Laboratory, Sweden
10:35-10:4516:35-16:45 The role of Plasmodium falciparum ESCRT-III proteins in EV biogenesis and protein export
Yunuen Avalos Padilla – Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain
10:45-10:5516:45-16:55 Analysis of the role of MSPDBL2-positive schizonts in Plasmodium falciparum
Aline Freville – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
10:55-11:1516:55-17:15 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 2
11:45-12:1517:45-18:15 Meet the speakers
in individual Zoom meeting rooms
12:15-12:2018:15-18:20 Short break and transition over to Lifetime Achievement Award
12:2013:0018:20-19:00 Lifetime Achievement Award
13:00-13:1019:00-19:10 Short break
13:10-14:0019:10-20:00 Get together and virtual bar mixer

Digital posters, recordings and discussion channels will be available for registered participants throughout the whole virtual conference (as well as 1 week before and 2 weeks after)

Day 2 – Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Time (EDT)Time (CEST)Speaker
07:00-08:1513:00-14:15 Virtual Session 3: Immunology and vaccinology
Chairs: tba
07:00-07:2513:00-13:25 Keynote lecture:
T-follicular helper cells in antibody induction
in human malaria
Michelle Boyle – QIMR Berghofer, Australia
07:25-07:3513:25-13:35 Development of a second-generation genetically attenuated malaria vaccine: En route to a first clinical trial
Blandine M.D. Franke-Fayard – Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
07:35-07:4513:35-13:45 T cell reprogramming and disease tolerance in human volunteers repeatedly infected with malaria
Wiebke Nahrendorf – The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
07:45-07:5513:45-13:55 Immunization of mice with CSP and the RIG-I adjuvant 5’ppp-dsRNA induces sterile protection against Plasmodium
Ana Rafaela Teixeira – University of Lisbon, Portugal
07:55-08:1513:55-14:15 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 3
08:15-08:3014:15-14:30 Break
08:30-09:4514:30-15:45 Virtual Session 4: Systems biology
Chairs: tba
08:30-08:5514:30-14:55 Keynote lecture:
Coordinating unrest: Understanding the transition
between the replicative and kinetic phases of the apicomplexan lytic cycle
Sebastian Lourido – Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, USA
08:55-09:0514:55-15:05 Middle-down proteomics reveal crosstalk between histone post-translational modifications during Plasmodium falciparum parasite development
Hilde von Grüning – University of Pretoria, South Africa
09:05-09:1515:05-15:15 Spatio-temporal scRNAseq of liver-stage malaria
Amichay Afriat – Weizman Institute of Science, Israel
09:15-09:2515:15-15:25 Epigenetic regulation of transcriptional variation: Comparative ChIP-seq analysis of P. falciparum sub-clones
Lucas Michel Todó – ISGlobal, Spain
09:25-09:4515:25-15:45 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 4
09:45-10:1515:45-16:15 Break
10:15-10:4516:15-16:45 Meet the speakers in individual Zoom meeting rooms
11:15-12:3017:15-18:30Virtual Session 5: Vector biology and transmission
11:15-11:4017:15-17:40Residual malaria transmission: Is ivermectin the queen on the chessboard?
Marta Maia – KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi, Kenya
11:40-11:5017:40-17:50 The Plasmodium falciparum sexual stage-specific protein Pfs16 is a target for transmission-blocking antimalarial drug development
Sabrina Yahiya – Imperial College London, United Kingdom
11:50-12:0017:50-18:00 Mosquito lipogenic and lipolytic pathways are critical metabolic checkpoints for Anopheles reproduction and Plasmodium transmission
Maurice Itoe – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, United States of America
12:00-12:1018:00-18:10 Plasmodium falciparum utilizes two critical but distinct membrane fusogens for gamete fertilization
Sudhir Kumar – Seattle Children’s Research Institute, United States of America
12:10-12:3018:10-18:30 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 5
12:30-12:4018:30-18:40 Transition over to Meet the speakers
12:40-13:1018:40-19:10 Meet the speaker in individual Zoom meeting rooms
13:30-14:3019:30-20:30 Living Room Concert

Digital posters, recordings and discussion channels will be available for registered participants throughout the whole virtual conference (as well as 1 week before and 2 weeks after)

Day 3 – Thursday, 27 May 2021
Time (EDT)Time (CEST)Speaker
06:00-06:3012:00-12:30 optional: virtual pub quiz
07:00-8:1513:00-14:15 Virtual Session 6: Epidemiology and clinical malaria
Chairs: tba
07:00-07:25 13:00-13:25 Keynote lecture:
Development and validation of serological markers for detecting recent P. vivax infections
Michael White – Institute Pasteur, France
07:25-07:3513:25-13:35 Evidence for genetic interaction between humans and malaria parasites in west and east Africa
Gavin Band – University of Oxford, United Kingdom
07:35-07:4513:35-13:45 Haemoglobinopathies and their effect on Plasmodium falciparum infection risk among children in Northern Region, Ghana
Zakaria Seidu – University of Ghana, Ghana
07:45-07:5513:45-13:55 From the patient to the flask: Genome sequence analysis of genetically complex infections during extended culture-adaptation
Antoine Claessens – University of Montpellier, France
07:55-08:1513:55-14:15 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 6
08:15-08:3014:15-14:30 Break
08:30-09:1514:30-15:15 The changing landscape of publishing
Editor panel discussion
09:15-09:2015:15-15:20 Transition to Meet the editors
09:20-09:3015:20-15:50 Meet the editors
in individual Zoom meeting rooms
09:50-10:0015:50-16:00 Break
10:00-11:1516:00-17:15 Virtual Poster Session 2
(including live chats and discussion channels)
11:15-11:2517:15-17:25 Break
11:25-12:4017:25-18:40 Virtual Session 7: Emerging challenges and new tools
Chairs: tba
11:25-11:5017:25-17:50 Keynote lecture:
Pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of a P. berghei-based
vaccine against human malaria
Miguel Prudencio – Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Portugal
11:50-12:0017:50-18:00 An extended DNA-free intranuclear compartment organizes centrosomal microtubules in Plasmodium falciparum
Caroline Simon – Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
12:00-12:1018:00-18:10 3D hepatic models – An innovative platform for translating anti-plasmodial liver stage activity
Diana Fontinha – University of Lisbon, Portugal
12:10-12:2018:10-18:20 Complete Genetic Attenuation of P. berghei through a Liver Stage-Specific CRISPR-RGR Gene Deletion Strategy
Lucia Pazzagli – University of Perugia, Italy
12:20-12:4018:20-18:40 Discussion round with speakers from Virtual Session 7
12:40-12:5018:40-18:50 Closing remarks
12:50-13:0018:50-19:00 Transition over to Meet the speakers
13:00-13:3019:00-19:30 Meet the speakers
in individual Zoom meeting rooms

Digital posters, recordings and discussion channels will be available for registered participants throughout the whole virtual conference (as well as 1 week before and 2 weeks after)

Practical information

Registration Fees and Abstract Submission

Registration Fees (include access to all of the talks, digital poster sessions and online group discussions, and help us cover our costs to run the event.)
For further information please refer to the FAQ page):

Academia190 Euro
PhD Student140 Euro
Industry240 Euro
EMBL StaffIntranet access

Accredited journalists may be eligible to register for a reduced press rate or in some cases for complimentary registration. Registrants may be required to provide accreditation or equivalent proof of press membership after registration. Please contact Iva Gavran for more information.

Confirmation and Payment

Registration will be on a first-come first-served basis. Your place can only be confirmed after payment of the registration fee.
Types of payments accepted are international bank transfers (only up to 8 weeks before event) and credit card payments.

Abstract submission

Only registered participants are eligible to submit an abstract. We only accept online abstract submissions. 

After registration you can submit your abstract via a separate link that will be provided in the email confirmation. Alternatively, you can access the link on the confirmation page directly after registering. The same login credentials are used for both processes.

Please note:

Title: The title should not exceed 20 words. Only the first word of the title should start with a capital letter and the rest of the title should be in lowercase.

Authors and Affiliations: Please fill in the author’s details as requested in the online form. The compulsory details are: First Name, Last Name, Organisation Name (Affiliation or Company), Country and Email. Mark only one author as the role of First author and please don’t forget to indicate who will be presenting. The order of the authors will be listed as follows: First Author, Co-First Author (alphabetically if multiple), co-author(s) (in the order added by the submitter).

Presentation Types: When submitting your abstract, you can apply for an oral or poster presentation. A selection process will take place with the results announced 2-3 weeks after the abstract submission deadline.

Please check our FAQs pages for further information on how to submit an abstract.

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

CPP Registration Fee Waivers

All academic and student registrants are invited to apply for a registration fee waiver, provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme. The registration fee waiver covers the registration sum that you have paid to attend the meeting. Conference participants are not required to pre-pay the registration fee to be selected for a fee waiver for a virtual meeting. If you have already paid the registration fee and are awarded a fee waiver, it will be reimbursed after the meeting. 

Childcare Grants
For participants with children, there is the possibility to apply for a childcare grant provided by the EMBL Advanced Training Centre Corporate Partnership Programme, to offset childcare costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at a virtual event. Eligible costs include fees for a babysitter or childcare facility or travel costs for a care giver. Please note that priority will be given to early stage researchers. A maximum amount of 500 EUR can be awarded per participant selected for the virtual childcare grant. Costs will be reimbursed after the meeting only once a reimbursement form and original receipts have been received. In order to apply for this grant, you must be registered by the abstract submission deadline.

Merck registration fee waivers

BioMalPar Merck registration fee waivers enable the attendance of doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows from malaria endemic countries with the purpose of adding to the diversity of experiences represented by participants at the meeting. 


Applications for financial assistance can be submitted via the submission portal* (for the submission of abstracts for conferences or the submission of motivation letters for courses) by completing the Financial Assistance Application Section (underneath the section for entering abstract/motivation letter information). The link to the portal can be found in the registration confirmation email that you will receive after registering for the conference or course.

For conferences, if you are not submitting an abstract, you can still apply for financial assistance in the submission portal by following the instructions here. Note that priority will be given to those submitting an abstract to present at the conference. In your application you will be asked to answer questions regarding your motivation for applying, and, for registration fee waivers, the reasons why your lab cannot fund your attendance and how your attendance will make a difference to your career. Application for financial support will not affect the outcome of your registration application.

*For some events, applications for Childcare Grants will still be done by email. Information about the grant will be sent out shortly after the abstract/motivation letter deadline. Please contact the event Conference Officer if you have any questions.


The scientific organisers will select the recipients of registration fee waivers during the abstract selection process. Results will be announced approximately 3 – 4 weeks before the event start date. Selection results do not impact your admission to the meeting. Registration fee waiver selection is based on your current work or study location, your motivation for applying, the reasons for needing financial support and the impact this event will have on your career. Childcare grants are allocated based on career stage, with priority given to early stage researchers.

Further details

A list of external funding opportunities can be found here, and information on attending a conference as an event reporter here.

For further information about financial assistance please refer to the FAQ page.

Virtual Participation Guidelines


Please do:

  • Use the event-specific hashtag #EMBLMalaria as communicated during the event for any related tweets
  • Tweet unless the speaker specifically says otherwise
  • Be mindful of unpublished data
  • Be respectful in tone and content

Please don’t:

  • Share your login details with others
  • Broadcast the conference to unregistered participants
  • Capture, transmit or redistribute data presented at the meeting unless presenter gives explicit consent
  • Use offensive language in your posts
  • Engage in rudeness or personal attacks

Additional information can be found in our Code of Conduct.

Health and well-being

It is important to stay healthy and move around, especially when you are attending an event virtually. We have put together a few coffee break stretches and yoga videos. You can find these under ‘resources’ on the conference platform.

How to ask questions

Please use the Q&A function. It is possible to send a direct message to participants, poster presenters, and speakers within the conference platform.

If you have any other questions, you can go to the Help Desk on the conference platform. Click on ‘more’ on the top menu and click Help Desk. 

Time zone

The programme is planned based on Central European Time (CET) or Central European Summer Time (CEST) unless otherwise stated. As many virtual participants are attending from around the world, we do our best to accommodate as many timezones as possible when creating the programme. Please take your time zone into consideration when planning your attendance. Remember to set your time zone in your account. 

Virtual event platforms

We are using a virtual event platform for this conference. More information about the platform will be shared ahead of the conference.


Conference Sponsor:

Thanks to our media partners:

Disease Models & Mechanisms, The Company of Biologists Journal

EMBO Molecular Medicine, an EMBO Press journal

Open Biology, a Royal Society journal 

Sponsorship Opportunities

We offer a variety of event sponsoring possibilities, with the flexibility to select a set sponsorship package or combine individual sponsorship options to suit your event budget. Discounts are available for companies sponsoring multiple events at EMBL Heidelberg. View other conferences, or contact sponsorship@embl.de for further information.

If you are interested in becoming a media partner of this event, please visit our media partnerships webpage.

Date: 25 - 27 May 2021

Location: Virtual


Abstract submission: Closed

Registration: 3 May 2021

Contact: Iva Gavran

Download event poster

Image of the poster of BIoMalPar.

EMBL Courses and Conferences are kindly supported by our Corporate Partnership Programme

Founder partners

Corporate partners

Associate partners