Dr. Takala received her B.S. in Zoology from Brigham Young University in 1999, after which she completed a two-year research fellowship in the Division of Parasitic Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2006. After completing postdoctoral training in molecular evolution at University of Maryland and Arizona State University, she joined the School of Medicine faculty as part of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Program.
Dr. Takala’s primary research interests include molecular epidemiology, evolutionary biology, and population genetics/genomics applied toward understanding the evolution of the malaria parasite in response to the human immune system and interventions such as drugs and vaccines. Specific topics of interest include the effect of natural and intervention-induced selection on Plasmodium genetic diversity, associations between parasite and host genetics and disease, and emergence and spread of resistance to antimalarial drugs and vaccines.
Takala-Harrison S, Clark TG, Jacob CG, Cummings MP, Miotto O, Dondorp AM, Fukuda MM, Nosten F, Noedl H, Imwong M, Bethell D, Se Y, Lon C, Tyner SD, Saunders DL, Socheat D, Ariey F, Phyo AP, Starzengruber P, Fuehrer HP, Swoboda P, Stepniewska K, Flegg J, Arze C, Cerqueira GC, Silva JC, Ricklefs SM, Porcella SF, Stephens RM, Adams M, Kenefic LJ, Campino S, Auburn S, MacInnis B, Kwiatkowski DP, Su XZ, White NJ, Ringwald P, Plowe CV. Genetic loci associated with delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum following artemisinin treatment in Southeast Asia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(1):240-5, 2013.
Gandhi K, Thera MA, Coulibaly D, Traore K, Guindo AB, Doumbo OK, Takala-Harrison S, and Plowe CV. Next generation sequencing to detect variation in the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein. American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. 86(5):775-81, 2012.
Laufer MK, Takala-Harrison S, Dzinjalamala FK, Stine OC, Taylor TE, and Plowe CV. Return of chloroquine‑susceptible falciparum malaria in Malawi was a re‑expansion of diverse susceptible parasites. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 202(5):801-8, 2010.
Takala SL, Coulibaly D, Thera MA, Batchelor AH, Cummings MP, Escalante AA, Ouattara A, Traore K, Niangaly A, Djimde AA, Doumbo OK, and Plowe CV. Extreme polymorphism in a vaccine antigen and risk of clinical malaria: implications for vaccine development. Science Translational Medicine. 1(2):2ra5, 2009.
Takala SL and Plowe CV. Genetic diversity and malaria vaccine design, testing, and efficacy: Preventing and overcoming “vaccine resistant malaria”. Parasite Immunology. 31(9): 560-573, 2009.
Takala SL, Smith DL, Thera MA, and Coulibaly D, and Plowe CV. Rare Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 19kDa (MSP-119) haplotypes identified in Mali using high-throughput genotyping methods. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 76(5):855-9, 2007.
Takala SL, Coulibaly D, Thera MA, Dicko A, Smith DL, Guindo AB, Kone AK, Traore K, Ouattara A, Djimde A, Sehdev P, Lyke K, Diallo DA, Doumbo OK, and Plowe CV. Dynamics of polymorphism in a malaria vaccine antigen at a vaccine-testing site in Mali. PLoS Medicine. 4(3):e93, 2007.
Laufer MK, Thesing PC, Eddington ND, Masonga R, Dzinjalamala FK, Takala SL, Taylor TE, and Plowe CV. Return of chloroquine anti-malarial efficacy in Malawi. New England Journal of Medicine. 355(19):1959-66, 2006.
Takala SL, Smith DL, Stine OC, Coulibaly D, Thera MA, Doumbo OK, and Plowe CV. A high-throughput method for quantifying alleles and haplotypes of the malaria vaccine candidate Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-1 19kDa (MSP-119). Malaria Journal. 5:31, 2006.
Takala SL, Escalante AA, Branch OH, Kariuki S, Biswas S, Chaiyaroj SC, and Lal AA. Genetic diversity in the Block 2 region of the Merozoite Surface Protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum: additional complexity and selection and convergence in fragment size polymorphism. Infection, Genetics, and Evolution. 6(5):417-24, 2006.