Professor Andrea Crisanti
Professor of Molecular Parasitology, Imperial College London
Editor-in-chief of Pathogens and Global Health
Andrea Crisanti is a Professor of Molecular Parasitology at Imperial College London and Editor-in-chief of Pathogens and Global Health. He got his start in immunology, primarily researching malaria.
Prof Crisanti graduated from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with a medical degree in 1979, served two years as a medical officer in the Italian army airborne division, and then earned his PhD at the Basel Institute of Immunology and the Italian National Research Council. At the time, the push to develop a malaria vaccine was progressing slowly, so Crisanti turned his attention to the vectors of the malaria parasite, mosquitos, a focus he believed could more quickly yield actionable results.
After spending few years at the Center for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg Crisanti moved to Imperial College London. Here Crisanti carried out pioneering and visionary research that led to the development of molecular technology to genetically modify the mosquito vectors of human malaria. The objective was to develop genetic modifications that could block the ability of mosquitoes to transmit malaria.
More recently the laboratory of Crisanti has developed a new and revolutionary technology to spread genetic modifications from few laboratory mosquitoes to wild populations. This technology known as gene drive promises to change the perspective to eradicate malaria in the near future. Gene drive has additional applications in the field of agriculture pest management and control of invasive species. The power to change the evolution and the genetic make-up of wild type species has generated a world-wide attention on this technology.