Malaria research honoured with Florey Medal

Malaria research honoured with Florey Medal

Illuminate newsletter header, Autumn 23
March 2023
Pioneering WEHI malaria researcher, Professor Alan Cowman AC, has been awarded the prestigious CSL Florey Medal.

Professor Alan Cowman 

Professor Cowman’s research has led to the development of potential vaccines, as well as new antimalarial compounds – the most needed preventative measures for a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Spanning more than 30 years, his distinguished career in malaria research has enabled a greater understanding of the disease, underpinning the diverse needs of programs working towards elimination and eradication.

Professor Cowman, deputy director at WEHI and a laboratory head in the Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division, focuses on Plasmodium falciparum – the parasite that causes the most lethal malaria infections.

Genetic data and technology developed from his research led to the first genetically-engineered malaria vaccine, currently in human clinical trials, to stop the parasite from reaching the bloodstream and causing severe disease.

His discoveries also improved understanding of drug resistance. This led to a major industry collaboration that created a novel class of compounds, now in preclinical testing. 

Super Content: 
Q&A session at World Malaria Day 2014 public lecture

An overview of malaria research and progress to date, including vaccine and drug development, and our research in malaria-endemic countries.

Dr Leanne Robinson in Papua New Guinea

See inside our malaria research program in Madang, Papua New Guinea.

Malaria parasite in the bloodstream

Visualisation of the parasite infection inside a pregnant female mosquito.