Malaria is a debilitating disease affecting over 250 million people around the world and resulting in the deaths of approximately one million people; most are children under five years old. Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites called Plasmodium that are spread from person to person by mosquitoes. There are six species of parasite that infect humans, and they are becoming ever more resistant to the drugs used to prevent infection and treat established disease.
Our research focuses on:
- investigating the effectiveness of malaria drugs in clinical trials
- understanding the patterns of transmission of malaria in various communities
- investigating the genetic make-up (genome) of the malaria parasite
- studying the nature of immunity to malaria in both humans and in animal models of the disease
- testing potential malaria vaccines in clinical studies in Brisbane and in Papua New Guinea, in collaboration with scientists at the PNG Institute of Medical Research.
Malaria vaccine research is coordinated through the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology, involving QIMR Berghofer and six other organisations throughout Australia. There are many strategic collaborations with other groups internationally.