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Caroline Buckee

Harvard School of Public Health

Associate Director, CCDD

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology

(617) 432.1280

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Research areas: Malaria

Dr. Caroline Buckee joined Harvard School of Public Health in the summer of 2010 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Buckee was named Associate Director of the Center in May 2013.

Prior to joining the CCDD, Caroline was a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford, and an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. Dr. Buckee's work focuses on the population dynamics of genetically diverse pathogen species including the malaria parasite and the meningococcus. She uses a range of modeling techniques to understand the relationship between the evolution of these species and the epidemiological patterns of infection and disease among human populations.

Contrasting within- and between-host immune selection shapes Neisseria Opa repertoires.

Watkins ER, Grad YH, Gupta S, Buckee CO.

Pathogen evolution is influenced strongly by the host immune response. Previous studies of the effects of herd immunity on the population structure of directly transmitted, short-lived pathogens have primarily focused on the impact of competition for... (more »).

Sci. Rep.   2014 Oct. 4.

Containing the Ebola Outbreak – the Potential and Challenge of Mobile Network Data.

Wesolowski A, Buckee CO, Bengtsson L, Wetter E, Lu X, Tatem AJ.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak is taking place in one of the most highly connected and densely populated regions of Africa (Figure 1A). Accurate information on population movements is valuable for monitoring the progression of the outbreak and predicting... (more »).

PLOS Currents Outbreaks.   2014 Sep.

Research areas: ebola

Modeling challenges in context: lessons from malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis.

Childs LM, Abuelezam NN, Dye C, Gupta C, Murray MB, Williams B, Buckee CO

In Revision   2014 Aug.

A Plasmodium falciparum Histone Deacetylase Regulates Antigenic Variation and Gametocyte Conversion.

Coleman BI, Skillman KM, Jiang RH, Childs LM, Altenhofen LM, Ganter M, Leung Y, Goldowitz I, Kafsack BF, Marti M, Llinás M, Buckee CO, Duraisingh MT.

The asexual forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are adapted for chronic persistence in human red blood cells, continuously evading host immunity using epigenetically regulated antigenic variation of virulence-associated genes. ... (more »).

Cell Host Microbe.   2014 Aug. 16 (2): 177-86.  

Quantifying travel behavior for infectious disease research: a comparison of data from surveys and mobile phones.

Wesolowski A, Stresman G, Eagle N, Stevenson J, Owaga C, Marube E, Bousema T, Drakeley C, Cox J, Buckee CO.

Human travel impacts the spread of infectious diseases across spatial and temporal scales, with broad implications for the biological and social sciences. Individual data on travel patterns have been difficult to obtain, particularly in low-income co... (more »).

Sci Rep.   2014 Jul. 4 5678.  

A Network Approach to Analyzing Highly Recombinant Malaria Parasite Genes.

Larremore DB, Clauset A, Buckee CO.

The var genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum present a challenge to population geneticists due to their extreme diversity, which is generated by high rates of recombination. These genes encode a primary antigen protein called PfE... (more »).

PLoS Comput Biol.   2013 Oct. 9 (10): e1003268.  

Research areas: Malaria

Modeling the human infectious reservoir for malaria control: does heterogeneity matter?

Hansen E, Buckee CO.

The complex biological relationships underlying malaria transmission make it difficult to predict the impact of interventions. Mathematical models simplify these relationships and capture essential components of malaria transmission and epidemiology.... (more »).

Trends Parasitol.   2013 Jun. 29 (6): 270-5.  

Research areas: malaria

Expansion of host cellular niche can drive adaptation of a zoonotic malaria parasite to humans.

Lim C, Hansen E, DeSimone TM, Moreno Y, Junker K, Bei A, Brugnara C, Buckee CO, Duraisingh MT.

The macaque malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi has recently emerged as an important zoonosis in Southeast Asia. Infections are typically mild but can cause severe disease, achieving parasite densities similar to fatal Plasmodium falciparum infectio... (more »).

Nat Commun.   2013 Mar.

Research areas: malaria

The impact of biases in mobile phone ownership on estimates of human mobility.

Amy Wesolowski, Nathan Eagle, Abdisalan M. Noor, Robert W. Snow, Caroline O. Buckee.

Mobile phone data are increasingly being used to quantify the movements of human populations for a wide range of social, scientific and public health research. However, making population-level inferences using these data is complicated by differentia... (more »).

Journal of the Royal Society Interface   2013 Feb.

Mobile phones and malaria: modeling human and parasite travel.

Buckee CO, Wesolowski A, Eagle NN, Hansen E, Snow RW.

Human mobility plays an important role in the dissemination of malaria parasites between regions of variable transmission intensity. Asymptomatic individuals can unknowingly carry parasites to regions where mosquito vectors are available, for example... (more »).

Travel Med Infect Dis.   2013 Jan. 11 (1): 15-22.  

Research areas: malaria

The Use of Census Migration Data to Approximate Human Movement Patterns across Temporal Scales.

Amy Wesolowski, Caroline O. Buckee, Deepa K. Pindolia, Nathan Eagle, David L. Smith, Andres J. Garcia, Andrew J. Tatem.

Human movement plays a key role in economies and development, the delivery of services, and the spread of infectious diseases. However, it remains poorly quantified partly because reliable data are often lacking, particularly for low-income countries... (more »).

PLoS One   2013 Jan. 8 (1): e52971.  

Quantifying the impact of human mobility on malaria

Wesolowski A, Eagle N, Tatem AJ, Smith DL, Noor AM, Snow RW, Buckee CO

Human movements contribute to the transmission of malaria on spatial scales that exceed the limits of mosquito dispersal. Identifying the sources and sinks of imported infections due to human travel and locating high-risk sites of parasite importatio... (more »).

Science   2012 Sep.

Research areas: malaria

Heterogeneous mobile phone ownership and usage patterns in Kenya

Wesolowski A, Eagle N, Noor AM, Snow RW, Buckee CO

The rapid adoption of mobile phone technologies in Africa is offering exciting opportunities for engaging with high-risk populations through mHealth programs, and the vast volumes of behavioral data being generated as people use their phones provide ... (more »).

PLoS One.   2012 May. 7 (4): e35319  

Evolution of the multi-domain structures of virulence genes in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

Buckee CO, Recker M

The var gene family of Plasmodium falciparum encodes the immunodominant variant surface antigens PfEMP1. These highly polymorphic proteins are important virulence factors that mediate cytoadhesion to a variety of host tissues, causing sequestration o... (more »).

PLoS Comput Biol   2012 Mar. 8 (4): e1002451  

Research areas: malaria

Role of stochastic processes in maintaining discrete strain structure in antigenically diverse pathogen populations

Buckee CO, Recker M, Watkins ER, Gupta S

Many highly diverse pathogen populations appear to exist stably as discrete antigenic types despite evidence of genetic exchange. It has been shown that this may arise as a consequence of immune selection on pathogen populations, causing them to segr... (more »).

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A   2011 Aug. 108 (37): 15504-9  

Role of stochastic processes in maintaining discrete strain structure in antigenically diverse pathogen populations.

Buckee CO, Recker M, Watkins ER, Gupta S

Many highly diverse pathogen populations appear to exist stably as discrete antigenic types despite evidence of genetic exchange. It has been shown that this may arise as a consequence of immune selection on pathogen populations, causing them to s... (more »).

PNAS   2011 Jul.

Genome-wide association studies in Plasmodium species

Penman B, Buckee C, Gupta S, Nee S

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) look for correlations between traits of interest and genetic markers spread throughout the genome. A recent study in BMC Genetics has found that populations of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax should be ame... (more »).

BMC Biology   2010 Jun. 8 90   10.1186/1741-7007-8-90

Long-term evolution of antigen repertoires among carried meningococci

Buckee CO, Gupta S, Kriz P, Maiden MC, Jolley KA.

Most studies of bacterial pathogen populations have been based on isolates collected from individuals with disease, or their contacts, over short time periods. For commensal organisms that occasionally cause disease, such as Neisseria meningitidis, h... (more »).

Proceedings of Biological Sciences   2010 May. 277 (1688): 1635-41  

Contrasting population structures of the genes encoding ten leading vaccine-candidate antigens of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

Barry AE, Schultz L, Buckee CO, Reeder JC

The extensive diversity of Plasmodium falciparum antigens is a major obstacle to a broadly effective malaria vaccine but population genetics has rarely been used to guide vaccine design. We have completed a meta-population genetic analysis of the gen... (more »).

PLoS One   2009 Nov. 4 (12):

Inferring malaria parasite population structure from serological networks

Buckee CO, Bull PC, Gupta S

The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is characterized by high levels of genetic diversity at antigenic loci involved in virulence and immune evasion. Knowledge of the population structure and dynamics of these genes is important for designing c... (more »).

Proceedings of Biological Sciences   2009 Jan. 276 (1656): 477-85   10.1098/rspb.2008.1122.

Mathematical models for a new era of malaria eradication

Boni MF, Buckee CO, White NJ

The renewed focus on malaria control and eradication in recent years has shifted the design of malaria control programs away from short-term, local solutions towards more wide-ranging and long-term strategies. This new era of malaria control will req... (more »).

PLoS Medicine   2008 Oct. 5 (11): 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050231.

Opa protein repertoires of disease-causing and carried meningococci

Callaghan MJ, Buckee C, McCarthy ND, Ibarz Pavón AB, Jolley KA, Faust S, Gray SJ, Kaczmarski EB, Levin M, Kroll JS, Maiden MC, Pollard AJ

The meningococcal Opa proteins play an important role in pathogenesis by mediating invasion of human cells. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether carried and disease-associated meningococci possess different Opa repertoires and wheth... (more »).

Journal of Clinical Microbiology   2008 Aug. 46 (9): 3033-41   10.1128/JCM.00005-08

Role of selection in the emergence of lineages and the evolution of virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

Buckee CO, Jolley KA, Recker M, Penman B, Kriz P, Gupta S, Maiden MC

Neisseria meningitis is a human commensal bacterium that occasionally causes life-threatening disease. As with a number of other bacterial pathogens, meningococcal populations comprise distinct lineages, which persist over many decades and during glo... (more »).

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA   2008 Aug. 105 (39): 15082-7   10.1073/pnas.0712019105

Plasmodium falciparum antigenic variation. Mapping mosaic var gene sequences onto a network of shared, highly polymorphic sequence blocks

Bull PC, Buckee CO, Kyes S, Kortok MM, Thathy V, Guyah B, Stoute JA, Newbold CI, Marsh K

Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a potentially important family of immune targets, encoded by an extremely diverse gene family called var. Understanding of the genetic organization of var genes is hampered by sequence... (more »).

Molecular Microbiology   2008 May. 68 (6): 1519-34   10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06248.x.

The effect of immune selection on the structure of the meningococcal opa protein repertoire

Callaghan MJ, Buckee CO, Jolley KA, Kriz P, Maiden MC, Gupta S

The opa genes of the Gram negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis encode Opacity-associated outer membrane proteins whose role is to promote adhesion to the human host tissue during colonisation and invasion. Each meningococcus contains 3–4 ... (more »).

PLoS Pathogens   2008 Feb. 4 (3): 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000020

The effects of a partitioned var gene repertoire of Plasmodium falciparum on antigenic diversity and the acquisition of clinical immunity

Recker M, Arinaminpathy N, Buckee CO

The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exploits antigenic diversity and within-host antigenic variation to evade the host's immune system. Of particular importance are the highly polymorphic var genes that encode the family of cell surface ... (more »).

Malaria Journal   2007 Dec. 7 (15): 10.1186/1475-2875-7-18.

Evidence for widespread cryptic sexual generations in apparently asexual Andricus gallwasps

Stone GN, Atkinson RJ, Rokas A, Aldrey JL, Melika G, Acs Z, Csóka G, Hayward A, Bailey R, Buckee C, McVean GA

Oak gallwasps (Hymenoptera, Cynipidae, Cynipini) are one of seven major animal taxa that commonly reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis (CP). A major question in research on CP taxa is the frequency with which lineages lose their sexual generations, ... (more »).

Molecular Ecology   2007 Nov. 17 (2): 652-665   10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03573.x

An approach to classifying sequence tags sampled from Plasmodium falciparum var genes

Bull PC, Kyes S, Buckee CO, Montgomery J, Kortok MM, Newbold CI, Marsh K

Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) appears to play an key role as both a virulence factor and as a target of naturally acquired immunity. This large family of molecules is encoded by the highly polymorphic superfamily of va... (more »).

Mol Biochem Parasitol   2007 Jun. 154 (1): 98-102   10.1016/j.molbiopara.2007.03.011.

Host community structure and the maintenance of pathogen diversity

Buckee C, Danon L, Gupta S

Community structure has been widely identified as a feature of many real-world networks. It has been shown that the antigenic diversity of a pathogen population can be significantly affected by the contact network of its hosts; however, the effects o... (more »).

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   2007 Jun. 274 (1619): 1715-1721   10.1098/rspb.2007.0415.

Low-level malaria infections detected by a sensitive polymerase chain reaction assay and use of this technique in the evaluation of malaria vaccines in an endemic area

Imoukhuede EB, Andrews L, Milligan P, Berthoud T, Bojang K, Nwakanma D, Ismaili J, Buckee C, Njie F, Keita S, Sowe M, Lang T, Gilbert SC, Greenwood BM, Hill AV.

The feasibility of using a sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to evaluate malaria vaccines in small group sizes was tested in 102 adult Gambian volunteers who received either the malaria vaccine regimen FP9 ME-TRAP/MVA ME-TRAP or rabies vaccin... (more »).

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene   2007 Feb. 76 (3): 486-493  

The effects of host contact network structure on pathogen diversity and strain structure

Buckee CO, Koelle K, Mustard MJ, Gupta S

For many important pathogens, mechanisms promoting antigenic variation, such as mutation and recombination, facilitate immune evasion and promote strain diversity. However, mathematical models have shown that host immune responses to polymorphic anti... (more »).

PNAS   2004 Jun. 101 (29): 10839-44   10.1073/pnas.0402000101

Sequence of plasmodium falciparum chromosomes 1, 3-9 and 13

Hall N, Pain A, Berriman M, Churcher C, Harris B, Harris D, Mungall K, Bowman S, Atkin R, Baker S, Barron A, Brooks K, Buckee CO, et A.

Since the sequencing of the first two chromosomes of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, there has been a concerted effort to sequence and assemble the entire genome of this organism. Here we report the sequence of chromosomes 1, 3-9 and 13 ... (more »).

Nature   2001 Dec. 419 (6906): 527-31   10.1038/nature01095