Sarah Volkman

Principal Research Scientist

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases


B.S., 1986, University of California, San Diego
Sc.D., 1995, Harvard School of Public Health


Member, Broad Institute
Director, Malaria Diversity Project, Broad Institute
Professor, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Simmons College


Sarah Volkman has over twenty years of experience in malaria biology and is a world expert on malaria with a focus on mechanisms of drug resistance. Her primary research interest centers on understanding genetic variation in Plasmodium falciparum, a causative agent of human malaria infection. She is particularly interested in using population genetic strategies to identify genetic loci that contribute to drug resistance in this organism. She is currently working toward the development of a genetic Diversity Map for P. falciparum that may ultimately be used to associate genetic polymorphisms with biologically and clinically relevant phenotypes.

Sarah received her B.S. from the University of California, San Diego (cum laude) in 1986 and her Sc.D. from the Division of Biological Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1995. She conducted postdoctoral studies with Professor Dyann Wirth at the Harvard School of Public Health and was appointed senior research scientist in 1998. Sarah Volkman is a molecular biologist and senior research scientist in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the Broad Institute. She is also a Professor of Nursing at the School for Health Studies at Simmons College.


Park DJ, Lukens AK, Neafsey DE, Schaffner SF, Chang HH, Valim C, Ribacke U, Van Tyne D, Galinsky K, Galligan M, Becker JS, Ndiaye D, Mboup S, Wiegand RC, Hartl DL, Sabeti PC, Wirth DF, Volkman SK,Sequence-based association and selection scans identify drug resistance loci in the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 7;109(32):13052-7. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Chang HH, Park DJ, Galinsky KJ, Schaffner SF, Ndiaye D, Ndir O, Mboup S, Wiegand RC, Volkman SK, Sabeti PC, Wirth DF, Neafsey DE, Hartl DL, Genomic Sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites from Senegal Reveals the Demographic History of the Population, Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Jul 24.

Amambua-Ngwa A, Park DJ, Volkman SK, Barnes KG, Bei AK, Lukens AK, Sene P, Van Tyne D, Ndiaye D, Wirth DF, Conway DJ, Neafsey DE, Schaffner SF, SNP Genotyping Identifies New Signatures of Selection in a Deep Sample of West African Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites, Mol Biol Evol.2012 Jul 11.

Volkman SK, Neafsey DE, Schaffner SF, Park DJ, Wirth DF., Harnessing genomics and genome biology to understand malaria biology, Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Apr 12;13(5):315-28. doi: 10.1038/nrg3187. Review.

Daniels R, Ndiaye D, Wall M, McKinney J, Séne PD, Sabeti PC, Volkman SK, Mboup S, Wirth DF.,Rapid, field-deployable method for genotyping and discovery of single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparumAntimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Jun;56(6):2976-86. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Milner DA Jr, Vareta J, Valim C, Montgomery J, Daniels RF, Volkman SK, Neafsey DE, Park DJ, Schaffner SF, Mahesh NC, Barnes KG, Rosen DM, Lukens AK, Van Tyne D, Wiegand RC, Sabeti PC, Seydel KB, Glover SJ, Kamiza S, Molyneux ME, Taylor TE, Wirth DF., Human cerebral malaria andPlasmodium falciparum genotypes in Malawi, Malar J. 2012 Feb 7;11:35.

Volkman SK, Ndiaye D, Diakite M, Koita OA, Nwakanma D, Daniels RF, Park DJ, Neafsey DE, Muskavitch MA, Krogstad DJ, Sabeti PC, Hartl DL, Wirth DF., Application of genomics to field investigations of malaria by the international centers of excellence for malaria research, Acta Trop. 2012 Mar;121(3):324-32. Epub 2011 Dec 13. Review.