Unit Head, Vector Borne Diseases Unit at PNG Institute of Medical Research; Laboratory Head in Population Health and Immunity Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

My research aims to better understand, diagnose, treat and prevent mosquito-borne parasitic diseases, particularly malaria and filariasis.

I am based at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in Madang, where I head the Vector Borne Diseases Unit. My laboratory’s research is highly collaborative and we conduct clinical, field and laboratory-based studies.

Our goal is to inform the development and implementation of effective, evidence-based public health programs that will ultimately lead to the elimination of malaria and filariasis. I also aim to use our research program to develop the capacity of young researchers in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Research interest
Areas of particular interest include:

Measuring the impact of intensified malaria control on the epidemiology and transmission of malaria in PNG.
Revealing the burden of Plasmodium vivax infection and illness attributable to relapses from hypnozoites.
Understanding how clinical immunity to malaria is acquired by infants, children and pregnant women and identifying immunological correlates of protection.
Defining how immunological memory to malaria develops, and the impact of pre-natal exposure to malaria on immune responses and all-cause morbidity during infancy.
Discovering serological markers of recent malaria exposure for development as potential tools in pre-elimination settings.
Determining the infectivity of symptomatic and asymptomatic P. falciparum and P. vivax infections to mosquitoes.
Conducting intervention trials of anti-malarial drug combinations and intermittent preventative therapy during infancy and pregnancy.
Developing drug regimes for malaria and filariasis mass drug administration campaigns.
Testing in vitro drug sensitivity and drug resistance.
Investigating effective strategies for population-level screening of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency for use in future mass treatment programs that may utilise primaquine or tafenoquine.

Experience

  • –present
    Laboratory Head, Population Health and Immunity at Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute