Professor Alan Cowman

Professor Alan Cowman



Alan Cowman standing in a laboratory



BSc (Hons) Griffith PhD Melbourne

Deputy Director and Joint Division Head

My laboratory studies malaria, a disease that is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths each year globally. We aim to advance the understanding of this important disease and develop a vaccine and new treatments.

Research interest

Our research is aimed at understanding how Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most severe form of malaria, infects humans and causes disease. 
To establish infection in the host, malaria parasites export hundreds of remodelling and virulence proteins into the erythrocyte.

Understanding the function of the proteins involved in parasite invasion and host cell remodelling is important for the development of a vaccine and new treatments required to treat and control this disease.

In this time-lapse microscopy video, malaria parasites (small circles) can be seen erupting from a larger red blood cell at 23 sec. The newly released parasites can then infect other red blood cells (larger circles), to continue the cycle of infection.