Tim Anderson works at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) in San Antonio, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree in Zoology from Oxford University and a Masters in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before moving to the University of Rochester (New York State) for graduate school. Following postdoctoral work in Oxford and Milan, he moved to his current position at TBRI. He has previously studied mice on Scottish islands, butterfly-ant symbioses in Australia, Wolbachia endosymbionts in filarial nematodes, and roundworm transmission in Guatemelan villages, before focusing on the genetics and evolution of malaria and schistosomes for the last 20 years.
Dr Anderson utilizes a population/quantitative genetics framework, molecular approaches, and both laboratory and field based research to ask questions about the evolution, ecology and transmission of parasites. His malaria research focuses on understanding how many times drug resistance has evolved in nature, what genes are involved, the role of copy number variation and SNPs, and the composition of complex parasite infections containing multiple parasite genotypes. His schistosome research pioneers use of laboratory genetic crosses and linkage mapping for analysis of drug resistance and host specificity, and exome sequencing of single miracidia larvae for describing hybridization and population genomics.
Tim Anderson, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
The central problems in parasite control are evolutionary in nature. We control parasites by imposing massive drug selection - and parasites enthusiastically respond by evolving resistance. Hosts evolve protection against infection - and parasites evolve to circumvent these protections. We are now in a golden age for Parasitology with genomes in abundance, and developing molecular toolboxes. We are in a position to understand at the molecular level how parasites adapt, to work rapidly so we can redesign drugs and manage control interventions more effectively, and to gain fundamental insights into parasite biology. I will highlight several ongoing projects in my laboratory - on schistosomes and malaria parasites - to illustrate the value of applying evolutionary, population and quantitative genetics approaches to parasite biology.