Saliba Group - Physiology and biochemistry of the malaria parasite

The Saliba Group is investigating vitamin utilisation pathways in the red blood cell stage of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We are investigating these pathways as potential drug targets for new antimalarials.



Kevin Saliba

Kevin Saliba
Kevin Saliba obtained a BSc (Chemistry) and a PhD (Pharmacology) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He was a post-...

PhD Student

Postdoctoral Fellow

Special Project Student


Open to students


Selected publications

  • van Schalkwyk, D.A., Chan X.W.A., Misiano, P., Gagliardi, S., Farina, C. and Saliba, K.J. (2010) Inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum V-type H+-ATPase by small molecule indole derivatives results in rapid parasite death. Biochemical Pharmacology 79:1291-1299
  • Spry, C. and Saliba, K.J. (2009) The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is not dependent on host coenzyme A biosynthesis.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 284:24904-24913.
  • Lehane, A.M., Marchetti, R.V., Spry, C., van Schalkwyk, D.A., Teng, R., Kirk K. and Saliba, K.J. (2007) Feedback inhibition of pantothenate kinase regulates pantothenol uptake by the malaria parasite.  Journal of Biological Chemistry 282:25395-25405
  • Saliba, K.J., Martin, R.E., Bröer, A., Henry, R.I., McCarthy, C.S., Downie, M.J., Allen, R.J.W., Mullin, K.A., McFadden, G.I., Bröer, S. and Kirk, K. (2006) Sodium-dependent uptake of inorganic phosphate by the intracellular malaria parasite. Nature 433:582-585
  • Saliba, K.J., Allen, R.J.W., Zissis, S., Bray, P.G., Ward, S.A. and Kirk, K. (2003) Acidification of the malaria parasite’s digestive vacuole by a H+–ATPase and a H+–pyrophosphatase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278:5605–5612
  • Saliba, K.J. and Kirk, K. (2001) H+–coupled pantothenate transport in the intracellular malaria parasite. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276:18115–18121
  • Reed, M.B., Saliba, K.J., Caruana, S.R., Kirk, K. and Cowman, A.F. (2000) Pgh1 modulates sensitivity and resistance to multiple antimalarials in Plasmodium falciparum. Nature 403:906–909
  • Saliba, K.J. and Kirk, K. (1999) pH regulation in the intracellular malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum: H+ extrusion via a V–type H+–ATPase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 274:33213–33219
  • Saliba, K.J., Horner, H.A. and Kirk, K. (1998) Transport and metabolism of the essential vitamin pantothenic acid in human erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Journal of Biological Chemistry 273:10190–10195
  • Saliba, K.J., Folb, P.I. and Smith, P.J. (1998) Role for the Plasmodium falciparum digestive vacuole in chloroquine resistance. Biochemical Pharmacology 56:313–320.

News & events


'Concepts in Parasitology' student
The future of parasite research in Australia will be in safe hands as 16 young Australian scientists converged for an intensive 2-week workshop with world-leading biologists to study worms, protozoans, ticks, fleas, lice and more.
Anopheles gambiae mosquitos feeding. Image credit: Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute
The malaria parasite's requirement for thiamine (vitamin B1) can be targeted for the development of novel antimalarial drugs.
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ARC Future Fellowships Dr Lucas A Cernusak (Plant Sciences)


Kevin Saliba

Investigating vitamin utilisation and pH regulation pathways in the red blood cell stage of the human malaria parasite as potential drug targets for new antimalarials.

Updated:  13 December 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB