Understanding malaria transmission and immunity to inform malaria elimination

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Future
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof James Beeson Personal web page

Project Details

Malaria transmission in populations involves interactions between infection rates and prevalence that drive transmission, and the presence of malaria immunity that has the potential to reduce transmission. Malaria immunity can act to reduce infection rates and levels of malaria parasitemia, and specific components of immunity can also function to directly block transmission of malaria; this is known as transmission-blocking immunity. Currently, very little is known about the interactions between malaria infection rates and patterns and malaria immunity in populations, and how these interact. However, this knowledge is essential for achieving malaria elimination in many regions of the world, and is a key research priority. Malaria control programs face the challenge that as malaria transmission declines, malaria immunity also declines, which places the population at higher risk of malaria transmission and rebound epidemics.

This project will investigate the impact of malaria immunity on malaria infection rates and transmission of malaria in populations. The student will analyse various parameters to define the patterns of infection and immunity, with a particular focus on defining the interaction between immunity and malaria transmission. The specific activities and focus of the project will be modified to best suit the interests and training background of the student. Skills acquired may include established high-throughput immunoassays, assays that quantify the functional activity of immune responses (E.g. flow cytometry, Fc-receptor mediated immunity, complement activation, western blots, ELISA, neutralisation assays), epidemiology, and data analysis.

Depending on the student’s interest, this could be expanded to include modelling of the interaction between infection and immunity, and how this may impact on malaria elimination and control. The findings of this project will be highly relevant to informing malaria elimination efforts and understanding the value of incorporating vaccines into elimination strategies.

For all queries, please contact Arzum, arzum.cubuk@burnet.edu.au



Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital