Marion Avril, PhD, Principal Investigator and Program Director at MalarVx, Inc, is an accomplished Scientist driven by the passion of understanding human infectious diseases. Her background is 15 years plus experience in cellular biology and molecular biology in Parasitology specializing in Malaria research. During her PhD. training in the lab of Dr. Jürg Gysin, Marion studied the prevalence of the var gene involved in Pregnancy Associated Malaria and developed an adhesion model under flow conditions that closely recapitulates placental sequestration of infected erythrocytes (IEs) during pregnancy. During her five years of postdoctoral training at Seattle BioMed in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Smith, she investigated in depth the molecular mechanisms involved in binding of IEs to host cells, such as placenta and brain endothelial cells. Subsequently, during her tenure as a Staff Scientist at Center for Infectious Disease Research (formerly Seattle BioMed) with Dr Smith, she discovered a novel Plasmodium ligand-EPCR receptor interaction associated with cerebral binding. This new insight raised the possibility of inhibiting parasite adhesion to brain endothelium as a treatment modality. Then, during the subsequent three years as Senior Scientist/Research Scientist IV, she investigated the role of EPCR and other host receptors in specific binding to PfEMP1-expressing IEs during endothelial activation under pro-inflammatory conditions that contribute to severe malaria. This study enhanced the understanding of the parasite ligand PfEMP1 and its interactions with host receptors, suggesting the possibility of new treatment approaches. Ultimately, joining MalarVx let her pursue her career goal to lead a successful program focusing on development of therapeutic vaccines for Infectious Diseases such as Malaria.