Our People

Tinashe Chabikwa

Dr | Research Officer

Human Malaria Immunology




Dr Tinashe Chabikwa has extensive experience on the generation and analysis of next generation sequencing datasets from plant and animal samples. Before embarking on his PhD, Dr Chabikwa worked at the Agricultural Research Council-Biotechnology Platform (ARC-BTP), in Pretoria, South Africa analysing plant RNA-Seq datasets. Dr Chabikwa completed his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Queensland in 2019, where he broadened his expertise in molecular and computational biology, studying the molecular basis of plant developmental processes. During his PhD, Dr Chabikwa worked in the (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries-University of Queensland) DAF-UQ Small Tree High Productivity Initiative, developing genomic resources for a variety of fruit tree species. After completing his PhD, Dr Chabikwa moved to the University of Western Australia where he held a post-doctoral position studying transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of developmental processes in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) and other plant species.


  • 2020-present Research Officer, Human Malaria Immunology, QIMR-Berghofer Medical Research Institute


  • Research Assistant Agriculture Research Council, South Africa (July 2011-Dec 2014)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher University of Western Australia, Australia (Jan 2019-Dec 2019)




Dr Chabikwa is currently employed as a Research Officer at QIMR-Berghofer in the Human Malaria Immunology group and is supervised by Dr Michelle Boyle. The Boyle Lab are focused on identifying molecular mechanisms that drive human innate and adaptive immunity to malaria infection. The group primarily focuses on Plasmodium spp parasite infection, the causative parasite of malaria using human cohorts of experimental and natural infection to understand immune acquisition. Within the program, Dr Chabikwa performs computational analysis of NGS datasets generated in the various research projects associated with this study.

Dr Chabikwa is currently working on assessing the effect of age on innate and adaptive immunity to malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) employing single-cell transcriptomics (sc-RNASeq). This includes evaluating the expansion and transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) subsets including monocytes, T cells, NK cells and B cells, from clinical blood samples from infected adults and children. This project involves analysing a sc-RNAseq dataset using various bioinformatic tools in open-source programming languages including R, python, java and Perl. Dr Chabikwa is also investigating the transcriptional responses of neutrophils to malaria infection. This project utilizes blood samples from controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) trials, and Dr Chabikwa’s role includes developing neutrophil RNA isolation protocols, and analysing and interpreting RNA-Seq data.


  • Analysing RNA-Seq and sc-RNASeq datasets
  • Generating immunology RNA-Seq datasets
  • SNP genotyping of sc-RNASeq and RNA-Seq datasets


  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Immunology Inc.


  • 2015-2018 PhD (Molecular Biology) – The University of Queensland
  • 2007-2008 Master of Science – University of Stellenbosch
  • 2006 Bachelor of Science – University of Fort Hare