I am a molecular parasitologist with areas of focus in malaria biology and genomics. My current research with undergraduates involves coupling bioinformatics and molecular biology techniques to correct the gene models for the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii. I regularly involve students in my research, which was funded through the National Institutes of Health. I’ve been transformed through leading study away programs with students to India (Tibetan Studies), Peru (Global Health) and New Zealand (Environmental Studies).
Outside of work, my hobbies are my family, tennis, soccer, swimming and strolling in the woods.
- Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
- B.A., Berea College
- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)
- Indiana College Biology Teachers Association (ICBTA)
Collaborative student research
Malaria is still a scourge to global human health with approximately one million annual deaths and 300 million people infected. During the past 16 years, more than 35 Earlham College undergraduate students have collaborated with me to explore and correct the genomes of malaria parasites. We have found significant gene model corrections for the rodent malaria genome, Plasmodium yoelii, particularly with the multi-exon gene structures. With funding through the National Institutes of Health, we have made an impact at the forefront of novel vaccine and drug discovery. In participating in this research, students became trained in contemporary bioinformatic techniques as well as traditional molecular biology approaches (PCR, cDNA synthesis, and recombinant cloning). A large percentage of these students have now entered (or completed) graduate and professional schools in biological and biomedical fields, including medicine.
Blair, P.L., Franklin H., Kelner, N., Ke-Lind, P., Paulmier, M., and Shrestha, M. (2017) Targeted rDNA sequence determination from geographically isolated populations of Proterometra macrostoma (Trematoda: Azygiidae). Indiana Academy of Sciences: 127(1):82–88
Smith, C.R., Blair, P.L., Boyd, C., Cody, B., Hazel, A., Hedrick, A., Kathuria, H., Khurana, P., Kramer, B., Muterspaw, K., Peck, C., Sells, E., Skinner, J., Tegeler, C., and Wolfe, Z. (2016). Microbial community responses to soil tillage and crop rotation in a corn/soybean agroecosystem. Ecology and Evolution: 6(22):8075-84.
Balu, B., Blair, P.L., and Adams, J.H. (2009). Identification of the transcription initiation site reveals a novel transcript structure for Plasmodium falciparum maebl. Experimental Parasitology: Jul; 121(1):110-4.
Doolan, D.L. Mu, Y., Unal, B., Sundaresh, S., Hirst, S., Valdez, C., Randall, A., Aguiar, J.C., Blair, P.L., Freilich, D.A., Molina, D.M., Liang, X., Oloo, A., Baldi, P., Davies, D.H., and Felgnar, P.L. (2008) Profiling Humoral Immune Responses to P. falciparum infection with protein microarrays. Proteomics: Nov; 8(22):4680-94.
Blair, P.L. and Carucci, D.J. (2005). Functional proteome and expression analysis of sporozoites and hepatic stages of malaria development. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology: 295:417-438. Review.
Le Roch, K.G., Zhou, Y., Blair, P.L., Grainger, M., Moch, K.J., Haynes, J.D., de la Vega, P., Holder, A.A., Batalov, S., Carucci, D.J., and Winzeler, E.A. (2003). Discovery of gene function by expression profiling of the malaria parasite life cycle. Science: 301(5639): 1503-1508.
Blair, P.L., Kappe, S.H.I., Maciel, J.E., Balu, B., and Adams, J.H. (2002). Plasmodium falciparum MAEBL is a unique member of the ebl family. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology: 122(1):35-44.
Blair, P.L., Witney, A., Haynes, J.D., Moch, J.K., Carucci, D.J., and Adams, J.H. (2002). Transcripts of developmentally-regulated Plasmodium falciparum genes quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Nucleic Acids Research: 30(10):2224-2231.