Dr Abdirahman Abdi
I am a Senior Research Scientist at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya with a background in Biochemistry. My main interests are in understanding the host-parasite interactions important for malaria pathogenesis and immunity with the aim of developing new interventions.
My current research work focuses on exploring the mechanisms by which malaria parasites communicate within the parasite population and with the host by studying extracellular vesicles (EVs) such as exosomes. EVs are present in all body fluids, contain bioactive molecules such as proteins and RNA and are important for intercellular interactions. I am interested in studying both the content and the functional role of these vesicles to identify new interventions. This work was initially funded through a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship (2014-2015) and is further being consolidated by another fellowship from the Wellcome Trust (Intermediate Fellowship 2018-2023). In my research, I apply multi-omics approach (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic) coupled with cellular biology including cellular immunology.
In addition to malaria, I also have a broader interest in the “omics” of extracellular vesicles present in human body fluids such as blood and urine to better understand the human host response to infections, identify disease biomarkers and improve diagnostics.
My other research Interest include the major antigen expressed on the surface of malaria parasite infected erythrocytes, commonly known as PfEMP1, which has a major role in malaria pathogenesis and immunity.