Dr Flo Mclean



Research interests

Rosetting, where parasitised red blood cells bind to non-parasitised red blood cells, has consistently been associated with severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. There is therefore interest in the development of anti-rosetting therapies which aim to alleviate the microvascular obstruction caused by rosettes. However, the highly polymorphic nature of the parasite-derived antigen family, Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), responsible for rosetting has made this challenging. A recent report showed that polyclonal sera from rabbits immunised with the N-terminal domain of two rosette mediating PfEMP1 variants showed extensive recognition of heterologous rosetting parasite lines. These cross-reactive antibodies suggest that conserved epitopes exist on some rosette mediating PfEMP1 molecules.
During my PhD I aim to establish more rosetting laboratory parasite lines, and determine their var gene profiles, in an attempt to characterise more rosetting PfEMP1 variants. I also aim to develop a monoclonal antibody targeting one of the cross-reactive epitopes recognised by the rabbit polyclonal sera. This will allow us to characterise the epitope, and to estimate the percentage of severe malaria clinical isolates displaying this target.



  • Host Pathogens and Global Health 4-year PhD programme, University of Edinburgh


  • Clinical Foundation Training (Academic Renal post), South Thames Deanery


  • BmBch, Oxford University


Mclean FE, Gathogo E, Goodall D, Jones R, Kinloch S, Post FA. Alemtuzumab induction therapy in HIV-positive renal transplant recipients. AIDS. 2017 Apr 24;31(7):1047-1048. PMID: 28350580

McLean FE. The elimination of scabies: a task for our generation. Int J Dermatol. 2013 Oct;52(10):1215-23. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12101. Epub 2013 Jul 8. PMID: 23834401

Roversi P, Johnson S, Caesar JJ, McLean F, Leath KJ, Tsiftsoglou SA, Morgan BP, Harris CL, Sim RB, Lea SM. Structures of the rat complement regulator CrrY. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2011 Jul 1;67(Pt 7):739-43. doi: 10.1107/S1744309111016551. Epub 2011 Jun 23. PMID: 21795784

Roversi P, Johnson S, Caesar JJ, McLean F, Leath KJ, Tsiftsoglou SA, Morgan BP, Harris CL, Sim RB, Lea SM. Structural basis for complement factor I control and its disease-associated sequence polymorphisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 2;108(31):12839-44. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102167108. Epub 2011 Jul 18. PMID: 21768352