Tuan M. Tran, MD, PhD

Tuan M. Tran, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Phone: 317-278-6968
Email: tuantran@iu.edu
635 Barnhill Drive
Medical Science Building 224D
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Systems biology of human malaria
Malaria immunity and infection biology


The focus of our lab is to define mechanisms of host immunity to malaria and identify immune correlates of protection from Plasmodium falciparum infection by studying naturally acquired immunity in individuals living in malaria-endemic communities using systems biology approaches.

Dr. Tran's primary research interests are in defining mechanisms of host immunity to malaria in malaria-endemic settings. By investigating naturally acquired immunity to malaria, Dr. Tran believes we can gain a better understanding as to why malaria vaccines that perform well in naïve donors have performed less effectively in the field. As such, the majority of his research has focused on immune responses to Plasmodium parasites in individuals who are naturally exposed to malaria.


1999 B.S. (Zoology), University of Florida
2005 Ph.D. (Immunology), Emory University
2007 M.D., Emory University School of Medicine
2008-2010 Residency (Internal Medicine), The Johns Hopkins Hospital
2011-2015 Fellowship (Infectious Diseases), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health




(Full List)

1. Gordon EB*, Hart GT*, Tran TM*, Waisberg M, Akkaya M, et al. Targeting glutamine metabolism rescues mice from late-stage cerebral malaria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015; 112(42):13075-80. PubMed PMID: 26438846, PMCID: PMC4620853; *Authors contributed equally to this work.

2. Obeng-Adjei N, Portugal S, Tran TM, Yazew TB, Skinner J, et al. Circulating
Th1-Cell-type Tfh Cells that Exhibit Impaired B Cell Help Are Preferentially
Activated during Acute Malaria in Children. Cell reports. 2015; 13(2):425-39.
NIHMSID: NIHMS721051 PubMed PMID: 26440897, PMCID: PMC4607674

3. Arama C, Skinner J, Doumtabe D, Portugal S, Tran TM, et al. Genetic Resistance to
Malaria Is Associated With Greater Enhancement of Immunoglobulin (Ig)M Than IgG Responses to a Broad Array of Plasmodium falciparum Antigens. Open forum infectious diseases. 2015; 2(3):ofv118. PubMed PMID: 26361633, PMCID:PMC4564391

4. Yooseph S, Kirkness EF, Tran TM, Harkins DM, Jones MB, et al. Stool microbiota
composition is associated with the prospective risk of Plasmodium falciparum
infection. BMC genomics. 2015; 16:631. PubMed PMID: 26296559, PMCID:PMC4546150

5. Gordon EB*, Hart GT*, Tran TM,* Waisberg M, Akkaya M, et al. Inhibiting the
Mammalian target of rapamycin blocks the development of experimental cerebral malaria. mBio. 2015; 6(3):e00725. PubMed PMID: 26037126, PMCID: PMC4453009; *Authors contributed equally to this work.

6. Tran TM, Portugal S, Draper SJ, Crompton PD. Malaria Vaccines: Moving Forward
After Encouraging First Steps. Current tropical medicine reports. 2015; 2(1):1-3.
NIHMSID: NIHMS688564 PubMed PMID: 25995985, PMCID: PMC4435961

7. Banga S, Coursen JD, Portugal S, Tran TM, Hancox L, et al. Impact of acute
malaria on pre-existing antibodies to viral and vaccine antigens in mice and
humans. PloS one. 2015; 10(4):e0125090. PubMed PMID: 25919588, PMCID:PMC4412709

8. Yilmaz B, Portugal S, Tran TM, Gozzelino R, Ramos S, et al. Gut microbiota
elicits a protective immune response against malaria transmission. Cell. 2014;
159(6):1277-89. PubMed PMID: 25480293, PMCID: PMC4261137

9. Tran TM*, Aghili A*, Li S, Ongoiba A, Kayentao K, et al. A nested real-time PCR
assay for the quantification of Plasmodium falciparum DNA extracted from dried
blood spots. Malaria journal. 2014; 13:393. PubMed PMID: 25282516,
PMCID: PMC4197274. *Authors contributed equally to this work.
10. Tran TM, Ongoiba A, Coursen J, Crosnier C, Diouf A, et al. Naturally acquired
antibodies specific for Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding protein
homologue 5 inhibit parasite growth and predict protection from malaria. The
Journal of infectious diseases. 2014; 209(5):789-98. PubMed PMID:
24133188, PMCID: PMC3923542

11. Doumbo S*, Tran TM*, Sangala J, Li S, Doumtabe D, et al. Co-infection of long-term carriers of Plasmodium falciparum with Schistosoma haematobium enhances protection from febrile malaria: a prospective cohort study in Mali. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2014; 8(9):e3154. PubMed PMID: 25210876,PMCID: PMC4161351. *Authors contributed equally to this work.

12. Tran TM, Li S, Doumbo S, Doumtabe D, Huang CY, et al. An intensive longitudinal
cohort study of Malian children and adults reveals no evidence of acquired
immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection. Clinical infectious diseases : an
official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2013;
57(1):40-7. PubMed PMID: 23487390, PMCID: PMC3669526

13. Semenya AA, Tran TM, Meyer EV, Barnwell JW, Galinski MR. Two functional
reticulocyte binding-like (RBL) invasion ligands of zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi exhibit differential adhesion to monkey and human erythrocytes. Malaria journal. 2012; 11:228. PubMed PMID: 22770469, PMCID: PMC3464698

14. Tran TM, Samal B, Kirkness E, Crompton PD. Systems immunology of human malaria.Trends in parasitology. 2012; 28(6):248-57. NIHMSID: NIHMS367870 PubMed . PMID: 22592005, PMCID: PMC3361535

15. Lima-Junior JC, Jiang J, Rodrigues-da-Silva RN, Banic DM, Tran TM, et al. B cell
epitope mapping and characterization of naturally acquired antibodies to the
Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-3? (PvMSP-3?) in malaria exposed
individuals from Brazilian Amazon. Vaccine. 2011; 29(9):1801-11. NIHMSID:
NIHMS266095 PubMed PMID: 21215342, PMCID: PMC3065243

16. Lima-Junior JC, Banic DM, Tran TM, Meyer VS, De-Simone SG, et al. Promiscuous
T-cell epitopes of Plasmodium merozoite surface protein 9 (PvMSP9) induces
IFN-gamma and IL-4 responses in individuals naturally exposed to malaria in the Brazilian Amazon. Vaccine. 2010; 28(18):3185-91. NIHMSID: NIHMS188205 PubMed PMID: 20189487, PMCID: PMC2861348

17. Lima-Junior JC, Tran TM, Meyer EV, Singh B, De-Simone SG, et al. Naturally
acquired humoral and cellular immune responses to Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein 9 in Northwestern Amazon individuals. Vaccine. 2008; 26(51):6645-54. NIHMSID: NIHMS83640 PubMed PMID: 18832003, PMCID:PMC4431613

18. Tran TM, Browning J, Dell ML. Psychosis with paranoid delusions after a
therapeutic dose of mefloquine: a case report. Malaria journal. 2006; 5:74.
PubMed PMID: 16925829, PMCID: PMC1564027

19. Tran TM, Oliveira-Ferreira J, Moreno A, Santos F, Yazdani SS, et al. Comparison
of IgG reactivities to Plasmodium vivax merozoite invasion antigens in a
Brazilian Amazon population. The American journal of tropical medicine and
hygiene. 2005; 73(2):244-55. PubMed PMID: 16103583

20. Rayner JC*, Tran TM*, Corredor V, Huber CS, Barnwell JW, et al. Dramatic difference in diversity between Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax reticulocyte binding-like genes. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2005; 72(6):666-74. PubMed PMID: 15964948; *Authors contributed equally to this work.