Development of a novel particle-based malaria vaccine

Development of a novel particle-based malaria vaccine

Project details

We are working towards the development of a combination malaria vaccine that targets multiple life cycle stages in the parasite’s development in humans and mosquitoes. In this project we will work with novel particle-based and nanopatch vaccine delivery platforms

This project will have three potential components:

  1. Immunoprofiling and functional analysis of animal serum for anti-parasite activity
  2. Immunoscreening of human plasma samples from malaria-endemic regions for responsiveness to vaccine antigens
  3. Generation and characterization of human monoclonal antibodies to key vaccine target antigens

About our research group

In the Cowman lab, a research focus area is entry and survival mechanisms of malaria parasites in erythrocytes. We study cell, protein complex and molecular mediators of these events. We have revealed essential interactions that can be targeted by drugs and vaccines. In this way, we exploit our deep understanding of parasite biology as rationale for design of therapeutics. (Volz et al, Cell Host & Microbe 2016 20:60; Healer et al Cell Microbiol 2019 21 e13030)

We are interested in investigating the mechanisms of sustainable anti-malarial immunity and will use human monoclonal antibodies to interrogate the fine specificity of the parasite-neutralizing response. This will inform the rational development of potential vaccine candidates that elicit antibodies and block malaria function. (Lanzavecchia et al 2016 Curr Opin Immunol 41:62, Triller et al 2018 Immunity 47:1197)


Email supervisors



Dr Julie Healer profile shot
Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division
Dr Stephen Scally
Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence

Professor Alan Cowman

Alan Cowman standing in a laboratory
Laboratory Head; Deputy Director, Science Strategy

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