The malaria parasite liver stage produces tens of thousands of red cell-infectious forms within its host hepatocyte. It is thought that the vacuole-enclosed parasite completely depends on the host cell for successful development but the molecular parasite-host cell interactions underlying this remarkable growth have remained elusive. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen and a yeast overexpression system we show that UIS3, a parasite protein essential for liver stage development, interacts directly with liver-fatty acid binding protein, L-FABP. Down-regulation of L-FABP expression in hepatocytes severely impairs parasite growth and overexpression of L-FABP promotes growth. This is the first identified direct liver stage-host cell protein interaction, providing a possible explanation for the importance of UIS3 in liver infection.