Steven Meshnick, MD, PhD

3301 Michael Hooker Research Center
Department of Epidemiology
Campus Box 7435
Chapel Hill 27599-7435
T: 919-966-7414


1972 Columbia College, New York BA, Biological Chemistry
1978 Cornell University, New York MD, Medicine
1979 Rockefeller University, New York PhD, Medical biochemistry


Research activities

Steve Meshnick’s research group uses methods from molecular and evolutionary biology to understand the epidemiology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases.

Malaria genetic diversity: We have been using next-generation sequencing to understand the genetic diversity of malaria parasites and how it affects both drug and vaccine efficacy. We are using this genetic diversity as a tool for landscape ecology studies of malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Malaria in pregnancy: Using longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women in Africa, we are attempting to determine how malaria affects the development of placental vasculature and in utero growth.

Tick-borne diseases: We have be evaluating the efficacy of long-lasting permethrin impregnated clothing for the prevention of tick bites and tick-borne disease. We have also been studying the diversity of micro-organisms within the tick microbiome.

Key publications

Bailey, J.A., Mvalo, T., Aragam, N., Weiser, M., Congdon, S., Kamwendo, D., Martinson, F., Hoffman, I., Meshnick, S.R., Juliano, J.J., 2012. Use of massively parallel pyrosequencing to evaluate the diversity of and selection on Plasmodium falciparum csp T-cell epitopes in Lilongwe, Malawi. J. Infect. Dis. 206, 580–587.

Griffin, J.B., Lokomba, V., Landis, S.H., Thorp, J.M., Herring, A.H., Tshefu, A.K., Rogerson, S.J., Meshnick, S.R., 2012. Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in the first half of pregnancy, uterine and umbilical artery blood flow, and foetal growth: a longitudinal Doppler ultrasound study. Malar. J. 11, 319.

Patel, J.C., Taylor, S.M., Juliao, P.C., Parobek, C.M., Janko, M., Gonzalez, L.D., Ortiz, L., Padilla, N., Tshefu, A.K., Emch, M., Udhayakumar, V., Lindblade, K., Meshnick, S.R., 2014. Genetic Evidence of Importation of Drug-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum to Guatemala from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 20, 932–940.

Taylor, S.M., Antonia, A.L., Harrington, W.E., Goheen, M.M., Mwapasa, V., Chaluluka, E., Fried, M., Kabyemela, E., Madanitsa, M., Khairallah, C., Kalilani-Phiri, L., Tshefu, A.K., Rogerson, S.J., Ter Kuile, F.O., Duffy, P.E., Meshnick, S.R., 2014. Independent lineages of highly sulfadoxine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum haplotypes, eastern Africa. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 20, 1140–1148.

Vaughn, M.F., Funkhouser, S.W., Lin, F.-C., Fine, J., Juliano, J.J., Apperson, C.S., Meshnick, S.R., 2014. Long-lasting permethrin impregnated uniforms: A randomized-controlled trial for tick bite prevention. Am. J. Prev. Med. 46, 473–480.

PubMed search.