ASBMB Fellowship and President's Award



School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Australian National University

Adele Lehane completed a BSc(Hons) at the Australian National University in 2004. Her first research project, on the malaria parasite's uptake of the nutrient choline, was done as an undergraduate in Kiaran Kirk's lab in the ANU's School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and was published inBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. In her Honours year, Adele kept an infectious diseases theme going, and her work with Naresh Verma on O-antigen modification in Shigella flexneriwas published in Biochemical Journal.

Adele then worked for a year as a Research Assistant in Kevin Saliba's lab, studying how the antiplasmodial agent pantothenol enters the malaria parasite. This project took an unexpected turn from transport to metabolism when Adele discovered that pantothenol uptake is regulated by feedback inhibition of the first enzyme in the coenzyme A biosynthesis pathway. This study, published in 2007 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (282, 25395-25405), was awarded the ASBMB's 2008 Mannatech Award in Modern Metabolic Biochemistry.

Adele started a PhD on chloroquine resistance in malaria in Kiaran Kirk's lab in 2006. She has uncovered evidence for a chloroquine efflux pathway from the digestive vacuole in chloroquine-resistant, but not chloroquine-sensitive, parasites. This work has led to a Journal of Cell Science publication and a poster prize at the international 'Molecular Approaches to Malaria' conference. The ASBMB Fellowship will support Adele's participation in the Gordon Research Conference on Membrane Transport Proteins, to be held in Italy in July 2008.