Malaria is a debilitating disease affecting over 200 million people around the world and resulting in the deaths of approximately 400,000 people; most are children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa. 1 Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites called Plasmodium that are spread from person to person by mosquitoes. Current efforts to control malaria have stalled, with malaria incidence stable since 2015. To eliminate malaria, novel approaches are needed to improve current vaccine candidates and drug treatment approaches.
In the past six years, we have tested more than 10 new anti-malaria drugs in Phase I clinical trials in collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and other international partners. As part of these studies, we have gained new insights into the pathogenesis of malaria and host immune responses. Our state-of-the-art pathogen and insect containment facilities enabled studies on mosquito-parasite interactions and testing of new control measures aimed at the mosquito vector.
Our researchers aim to test new anti-malaria drugs for deployment in the field and improve anti-parasitic immune responses to help prevent and control disease.