Associate Professor Alyssa Barry

Associate Professor Alyssa Barry



Alyssa Barry in a laboratory


Associate Professor

BSc (Hons) Tasmania PhD Melbourne 

Laboratory Head

Lab focus: genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases

Our lab studies tropical and neglected infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and melioidosis.

We are using cutting edge approaches to inform malaria control and elimination. Genome sequencing allows us to track the spread of malaria infections through communities and determine their source. Genomic data also provides an early warning system for drug resistance and determines which strains are circulating, aiding the development of vaccines.

We aim to introduce genomic surveillance into malaria control programs as a way to target control to regions where it can make the greatest impact. The technology we develop for malaria is also being translated for use in other infectious diseases.

Research interest

Our research is investigating pathogen and human host genomic diversity in different geographic areas, with a view to developing new strategies to control and eliminate infectious diseases.

Our primary focus is malaria, and includes studies on the major malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. We are also investigating other human pathogens, such as Burkoldheria pseudomallei (Melioidosis) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB).

We are investigating disease transmission patterns to understand:

  • the sources and spread of infections
  • the emergence and spread of antimicrobial drug resistance
  • how microbes avoid detection by the host immune response.

Our research also investigates human genetic diversity and immune responses, to understand natural resistance to disease.

Our research is highly cross-disciplinary including high quality epidemiological surveys, genomics, systems biology, immunology, biostatistics and bioinformatics. We collaborate with researchers and malaria control programs in countries of the Asia-Pacific and Africa, and with leading researchers in Australia, Europe and the USA. 

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.