Richárd Bártfai


Malaria, caused by eukaryotic parasites of the Plasmodium genus, claims the life of about half a million people every year, the majority of whom are children or pregnant women. Although gene regulatory, and in particular epigenetic, mechanism unique to the parasite could provide potential targets for drug based intervention, we know very little about these processes. My group aims to decipher transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern the development of P. falciparum in its human host. We use state-of-the-art genomic (e.g. ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, single-cell RNA-seq) and quantitative proteomic approaches to collect high quality data about the plasmodium epigenome, transcriptome and proteome. Integrative analysis of these datasets together with complementary sets of biochemical and functional experiments will provide important insights into gene regulatory mechanism of the malaria parasite and clues for the development of antimalarial compounds.


Richárd Bártfai obtained his PhD from the National University of Singapore (Temasek Lifesciences Laboratory) where he studied gene regulatory mechanism underlying the development of male and female gonads in zebrafish. In 2007 he joined the department of Molecular Biology at Radboud University and deciphered the basic organization of the Plasmodium epigenome. In 2012 he obtained the prestigious NWO-VIDI grant and established his independent research group.

Grants and memberships

EviMalaR – FP7 Network of Excellence (2013-2014) member
NWO-Horizon Breakthrough Project – 100k EUR (2010-2011) main applicant
EuPathDB – Driving Biological Project grant 400k USD (2012-2014) co-applicant
ParaMet Initial Training Network (2012-2016) partner
NWO-VIDI grant – 800k EUR (2013-2018) main applicant
RU-RIMLS collaborative project grant ~150k EUR (2018-2020) applicant
ZonMW-TOP grant ~675k EUR (2019-2023) co-applicant
Cell-2-Cell Innovative Training Network (2019-2023) partner & WP leader
ENW-XS 50k EUR (2020) applicant