Employing institution: Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana
Host institution: Centre for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen
Project title: Characterisation of malarial antibody glycosylation and its correlation with immunity in children.
Dr Partey holds a PhD in general biochemistry with applications in Immunology of infectious diseases. She is a research fellow with the Immunology Department at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana.
Her research interest involves understanding humoral and cellular responses against viral and parasitic infections in individuals naturally exposed, to guide the design of next generation vaccines. Her current work focuses on examining the effect of different malaria transmission intensities on the development of functional antibodies.
Malaria is an important public health disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under the age of five years and pregnant women have the highest risk in developing severe disease and mortality. Antibodies are very critical to protection against malaria. Infants are protected from malaria due to antibodies mothers transfer to the neonates during pregnancy. However, this is not the case for all pregnancies.
In malaria, the impact of antibody glycosylation patterns in acquiring effective immunity to malaria remains unknown. Dr Partey hopes to elucidate the role of glycan-shifts in the efficient transfer of malaria-specific antibodies. Malaria-specific antibody glycan shift profiles identified from the study could hold prognostic and therapeutic potential which could be targeted to induce optimal antibody transfer to neonates.
Dr Partey will be training at the Centre of Medical Parasitology under the mentorship of Prof. Lars Hviid. She will gain hands-on training in a serological assay to analyse antibody glycosylation in purified antibody from human plasma, and develop leadership skills such as people management, conflict resolution and communication skills during the fellowship. Upon return to her home institution, Dr Partey will have lab space and access to technical and administrative support to transfer the skills acquired. Dr Partey will be commencing her fellowship mid 2023.
“The research fellowship will equip me with the technical skills to examine antibody Fc glycosylation in infections to understand how our bodies build immunity against pathogens.”