Björn F.C. Kafsack, a postdoctoral fellow in the Llinás lab, has been awarded a fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Institute. This three-year award will fund his proposal titled "Density-Dependent Autocrine Control of Gametocytogenesis in the virulent malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum." The goal of this work is to identify the molecular determinants that are sensed by the malaria parasite and how they trigger development of the sexual gametocyte stage. To accomplish this, he will use a metabolomics-based approach to determine the identity of soluble small-molecule mediators of this transition, which will be further characterized to understand the regulatory pathways responsible for cell-based communication.