I'm working to develop new software tools that translate complex genomic datasets into actionable information for malaria control. I work at the Big Data Institute at Oxford University as part of a large network of scientists, from across the world, on projects involving human, malaria, and mosquito DNA. For example, our work on human DNA aims to understand why some people in Africa just don't seem to get malaria, even if though they live in a highly endemic malarial area. The answer is very complicated, but it is clear that there is a genetic component, so we are trying to identify new genes that confer resistance or susceptibility to this important disease.
I am also interested in using genetics to understand human history. We all have within our DNA a record of our ancestry, and I work with several groups in Oxford and elsewhere to try to use genetics to learn about history. This is fun and interesting in its own right, but it's also important from an evolutionary point of view. Uncovering the genetic relationships between populations can help us to better design and interpret genetic epidemiological studies for infectious diseases, and so has direct relevance to our work in malaria.