Alexis is passionate about understanding how parasites interact with their environment. Her fascination with parasites began in a summer internship in Hawaii during which she followed an endangered Honeycreeper, the iiwi, and its fight for survival against Avian malaria. After graduating from Swarthmore College, Alexis worked as a research technician at Weill Cornell Medicine researching drug resistance and DNA break repair in the Apicomplexan parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Babesia divergens. Alexis then received her PhD from Stockholm University, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Wenner-Gren Institute where she studied entomopathogenic (insect-infecting) Nematode infection in the model host organism, Drosophila melanogaster. Her work involved understanding the kinetics of worm infection in the host as well as the host’s immune response. She has studied host-parasite interactions between many parasite species and hosts and has once again turned her focus towards Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest human malaria parasite. She has joined the group of Dr. Jessica Bryant as a postdoc to research how a family of antigenic genes, var genes, are activated and silenced in the asexual part of the parasite’s lifecycle.
02/2022 – : Post-doctoral Researcher, Project: Activation and silencing of var genes in Plasmodium falciparum, Group: Biology of Host-Parasite Interactions. Group leader: Dr. Jessica Bryant, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
01/2022 – 10/2021: Post-doctoral Researcher, Project: Single-cell RNA seq in sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum, Group leader: Dr. Johan Ankarklev, Dept. of Molecular Biosciences, Wenner Gren Institute (MBW), Stockholm University, Sweden.
08/2021 – 07/2021: Student, Course: Biology of Parasitism, Marine Biological Laboratories, University of Chicago (MBL), Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
10/2021 – 06/2021: Research Assistant, Project: Proto-pyroptosis in Drosophila melanogaster immune cells Group leader: Prof. Ulrich Theopold, Dept. of Molecular Biosciences, Wenner Gren Institute (MBW), Stockholm University, Sweden.
06/2021 – 01/2016: Ph.D. candidate, Dept. of Molecular Biosciences, Wenner Gren Institute (MBW), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. Project: Wounding and entomopathogenic nematode infection kinetics in Drosophila melanogaster. Supervisor: Prof. Ulrich Theopold
01/2016 – 08/2013, Research Technician, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, Project: Epigenetics, drug resistance and susceptibility in Plasmodium falciparum and Babesia divergens, Supervisor: Dr. Laura Kirkman and Prof. Kirk Deitsch
08/2012 – 05/2012, Intern, NSF REU Internship: Pacific Island Program for Exploring Sciences (PIPES) at USGS. University of Hawaii, Project: Resource Allocation for Avian Malaria threatened/endangered Honeycreepers, Mauna Loa, Hawaii, Supervisor: Ulu Ching
06/2013 – 08/2009, Bachelor’s student, Swarthmore College. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Double major, Biology and Psychology.