New research technician 

Posted 4th March 2024 by James Philpott

I am very happy to have joined the Target Malaria team and to be working as a Research Technician in the Crisanti Lab at Imperial College London. In this role I support PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and senior academics with work pioneering the use of gene drive systems. My time is split between the insectary and the lab giving me a range of responsibilities including mosquito rearing and maintenance, carrying out phenotype assays and experimental and regulatory molecular biology work. 

Life at Imperial is something I am very familiar with having completed my BSc and MRes here, including a project assessing the survival of genetically modified mosquitoes. Malaria research was a repeated theme of my time at university and exposure to research linked to this field developed my desire to make my own contribution. 

After graduating in 2021 I took a short break from academia, working in the quality control lab at a brewery, before returning to malaria research, spending time at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Working there, I investigated P. falciparum population genetic structures and growth rates by culturing clinical parasite isolates. It was interesting to get a parasite-focused perspective before moving back into the vector-control field. 

I am enjoying the mix of academic and technical aspects in my new role and being able to experience all the work that goes into running a large research group with a focused goal. I feel lucky to be able to spend my time in such an inspiring working environment developing one of the most important and promising biological technologies. 

Outside of work I like to spend my time in London exploring little pockets of nature, visiting galleries, taking photographs and going to concerts.