Our laboratory is investigating how malaria parasites and human hosts interact. To do this we are conducting field- and laboratory-based studies in malaria-affected regions of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Thailand and Brazil.
Particular aims of our research are to understand:
Which people in malaria-affected communities are getting infected with Plasmodium parasites.
Who among these people are at high risk of getting sick with malaria.
What factors contribute to getting sick with malaria.
Who contributes most to the onwards transmission the parasites to the mosquitoes.
We are using this knowledge to monitor the impact of malaria control, and to develop new interventions to treat malaria, prevent new infections and identify and target areas of high malaria transmission risk. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to malaria elimination programs.
We aim to study malaria host-parasite interactions with a particular focus on gaining a better understanding of:
Differential patterns of natural acquisition of immune responses and their association with parasite exposure and protection from infection.
Parasite dynamics within the human host and the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of parasites.
Transmission epidemiology and biology of Plasmodium gametocytes and sporozoites.
Host genetic adaptation to malaria.
Major foci of our research are:
Comparative studies of P. vivax and P. falciparum.
The impact of intensified control on host-parasite interactions.
These questions are being addressed with a range of epidemiological studies conducted across a range of transmission settings (Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Thailand and Brazil) by combining detailed molecular and immunological studies with an in-depth epidemiological analyses and mathematical modeling
In addition we conduct clinical trials of novel interventions for the prevention and treatment of malaria in children and pregnant mothers and study the etiology of severe malaria in Melanesian children.