Maier Lab - Molecular mechanisms of malaria pathogenesis

Maier Lab

The research focus of the Maier lab is the identification of proteins involved in malaria pathogenesis and the elucidation of their function through biochemical, molecular and cell biological techniques.



Alexander Maier

Alexander Maier
Dr Alex Maier’s passion for Molecular Parasitology was ignited during his studies at the University of Tuebingen (Germany) and...


Open to students


Selected publications

  • Phuong N. Tran, Simon H. Brown, Melanie Rug, Melanie Ridgway, Todd W. Mitchell, Alexander G. Maier: Changes in lipid composition during sexual development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria Journal, 2016 15:73, DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1130-z
  • Phuong N. Tran, Simon H. Brown, Todd W. Mitchell, Kai Matuschweski, Paul J. McMillian, Kiaran Kirk, Matthew W. Dixon, Alexander G. Maier: A female-gametocyte-specific ABC transporter plays a role in lipid metabolism in the malaria parasite, Nature Communications, 2014, doi:10.1038/ncomms5773
  • Alexander G. Maier: The Malariologist’s Molecular Toolbox, In: Jane Carlton, Susan Perkins, Kirk Deitsch eds. Malaria Parasites - Comparative Genomics, Evolution and Molecular Biology (2012). Hethersett, Norwich, UK: Horizon Scientific Press
  • Tarun Kumar Bhatt, Sameena Khan, Ved Prakash Dwivedi, Mudassir Meraj Banday, Arvind Sharma, Anmol Chandele, Noelia Camacho, Ribas de Pouplana Lluis, Yang Wu, Alister G. Craig, Antti Tapani Mikkonen, Alexander G. Maier, Manickam Yogavel, Amit Sharma: Malaria parasite tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase secretion triggers pro-inflammatory responses, Nature Communications, 2011 2, 530
  • Kelley M. VanBuskirk, Matthew T. O’Neill, Patricia de la Vega, Alexander G. Maier, Urzsula Krzych, Jack Williams, Megan G. Dowler, John B. Sacci Jr, Niwat Kangwanrangsan, Takafumi Tsuboi, Norman M. Kneteman, Donald G. Heppner, Jr, Brant A. Murdock, Sebastian A. Mikolajczak, Ahmed S.I. Aly, Alan F. Cowman*, Stefan H.I. Kappe*: Pre-erythrocytic live-attenuated Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidates by design, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009 Aug 4; 106 (31): 13004-13009
  • Alexander G. Maier, Brian M. Cooke, Alan F. Cowman and Leann Tilley: Malaria parasite proteins that remodel the host erythrocyte, Nature Reviews Microbiology, 2009 May 7 (5): 341-354
  • Alexander G. Maier, Melanie Rug, Monica Brown, Matthew T. O’Neill, Srabasti Chakravorty, Tadge Szestak, Joanne Chesson, Yang Wu, Katie Hughes, Ross Coppel, Chris Newbold, James Beeson, Alister Craig, Brendan S. Crabb and Alan F. Cowman: Exported Proteins Required for Virulence and Rigidity of Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Human Erythrocytes, Cell, 2008 Jul 11, 134:48-61
  • Marthe C. D’Ombrain, Till S. Voss, Alexander G. Maier, J. Andrew Pearce, Diana S. Hansen, Alan F. Cowman and Louis Schofield: Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 suppresses early IFN-gamma Production by gamma/delta-T, NK and alpha/beta-T cells via CD36 independent pathway, Cell Host & Microbe, 2007 Aug 16, 2(2):130-138
  • Alexander G. Maier*, Melanie Rug*, Matthew T. O’Neill, James Beeson, Matthias Marti, John Reeder and Alan F. Cowman: Skeleton Binding Protein 1 functions at the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane to traffic PfEMP1 to the Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocyte surface, Blood 2007 Feb, 109(3): 1289-1297 
  • Janine Stubbs, Ken Simpson, Tony Triglia, David Plouffe, Christopher J. Tonkin, Manoj T. Duraisingh, Alexander G. Maier, Elizabeth Winzeler and Alan F. Cowman: Molecular mechanism for switching of P. falciparum invasion pathways into human erythrocytes, Science 2005 309 (5739) 1384-7.
  • Manoj T. Duraisingh, Alexander G. Maier, Tony Triglia and Alan F. Cowman: The erythrocyte binding antigen-175 functions in invasion of human erythrocytes by Plasmodium falciparum utilizing sialic acid-dependent and -independent pathways, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100 (8) (2003) 4796-4801
  • Alexander G. Maier, Manoj T. Duraisingh, John C. Reeder, Sheral S. Patel, James W. Kazura, Peter A. Zimmerman and Alan F. Cowman: Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion via glycophorin C and selection for Gerbich-negativity in human populations, Nature Medicine 9 (1) (2003) 87-92.

News & events


ARC logo
The Australian National University (ANU) has won $24 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for 58 research projects across the University. 
Thirty-three undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds spent 2 weeks in Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns, this month, as part of the BIOL 2203/3303, Field studies in functional ecology course.
Parasitologists at RSB, JCSMR and the Centre for Advanced Microscopy are celebrating a new dual PhD program that pairs ANU with Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.
January is not normally thought of as a teaching-heavy month, but RSB members were involved in a number of outreach events early this year.


Updated:  20 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB