Botswana-UPenn Partnership

Giacomo Paganotti, PhD

Dr. Paganotti was born in Rome, Italy. He graduated in zoology at the Department of Biology of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, studying the relationship between the bilateral degree of wing asymmetry and the male mating success of two species of damselflies with a field and laboratory approach (both morphometry and genetics). In September 1997, he was awarded a doctoral fellowship from the University of Modena (Italy) to study the genetic variability in Plasmodium falciparum natural populations in Burkina Faso, West Africa, in different ethnic groups with different susceptibilities to malaria. In December 2002, he was awarded an Institute Pasteur – Cenci Bolognetti Foundation fellowship (2002-2004) to study P. falciparum gametocyte production in two different ethnic groups of Burkina Faso. He spent six months in West Africa during 2002 to carry out the survey in the villages and collect mosquitoes and blood samples for this project. In September 2005, he was awarded an Institute Pasteur – Cenci Bolognetti Foundation Return Fellowship to study P. falciparum multiplicity of infection and chloroquine resistance in subjects from Burkina Faso. During the last years, he started to develop the new hypothesis that human genetic variation in drug metabolising enzymes could influence the distribution of parasite drug resistance alleles.

In November 2013 he accepted a research associate position at the Botswana-UPenn Partnership in where he will continue his research and supervise the BUP Core lab at Univ. of Botswana and the BUP lab in the National Health lab in Gaborone. His main research focus will be to look at the possible interaction between ART and HIV drug resistance, both looking at human poor metaboliser and ultra-rapid metaboliser alleles and the associated risk of speeding virus drug resistance selection in Botswana. He is also interested in HHV-8’s modality of mother to child transmission through saliva applied on the child’s skin after the bites of blood feeding arthropods.

Dr. Paganotti has been published in Nature (2001), the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2004), Parasitology (2006), Malaria Journal (2008, 2012), Journal of Infectious Diseases (2011).