When I came to University of California, San Francisco to work on infectious disease, I looked around to different options, and malaria was particularly interesting and fascinating to me. It's amazing that after 100 years of study of this little parasite, we've not been able to effectively control it.
Genes are effectively one-dimensional. If you write down the sequence of A, C, G and T, that's kind of what you need to know about that gene. But proteins are three-dimensional. They have to be because we are three-dimensional, and we're made of those proteins. Otherwise we'd all sort of be linear, unimaginably weird creatures.