Understanding malaria transmission and immunity to inform malaria elimination

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Burnet Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof James Beeson beeson@burnet.edu.au 92822111 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Assoc Prof Freya Fowkes freya.fowkes@burnet.edu.au 9282 2111 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. 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 findings of this project will be highly relevant to informing malaria elimination efforts and understanding the value of incorporating vaccines into elimination strategies.

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). 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 project will be tailored according to the students background and interest.

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

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

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

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


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Burnet Institute

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