Areas of particular interest include:
Australia, University of Sydney, BSc Adv (Hons)
Australia, University of Melbourne, PhD
Australia, Monash University/James Cook University, MPH
2014, Young Alumnae Award, The Women’s College, University of Sydney
2012-17, Craven & Shearer Award, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
2011, CJ Martin Early Career Research Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council
2005, Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship, National Health and Medical Research Council
2003, University Medal, University of Sydney
2012, Acquisition of immunity to Plasmodium vivax during infancy, PNG IMR Research Award Scheme (ICRAS)
2011-2015, Comparative epidemiology of P. falciparum and P. vivax transmission in PNG, Thailand and Brazil, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
PNG Institute of Medical Research Institutional Review Board/Ethics Committee, 2012 to present
PNG Institute of Medical Research Training Committee & MPH Program Development Committee, 2012 to present
Guest Lectures for Department of Health Science, Divine Word University, Madang, 2009 to present
Robinson LJ, Wampfler R, Betuela I, Karl S, White MT, Li Wai Suen C, Hofmann N, Kinboro B, Waltmann A, Brewster J, et al: Strategies for understanding and reducing the Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale hypnozoite reservoir in Papua New Guinean children: A randomised placebo- controlled trial and mathematical model. PLoS Med. 2015 Oct 27;12(10):e1001891. PMID: 26505753
Hofmann N, Mwingira F, Shekalaghe S, Robinson LJ, Mueller I, Felger I. Ultra-Sensitive Detection of Plasmodium falciparum by Amplification of Multi-Copy Subtelomeric Targets. PLoS Med. 2015 Mar 3;12(3):e1001788. PMID: 25734259.
Koepfli C*, Robinson LJ*, Rarau P, Salib M, Sambale N, Wampfler R, Betuela I, Nuitragool W, Barry AE, Siba P, Felger I, Mueller I. Blood-Stage Parasitaemia and Age Determine Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax Gametocytaemia in Papua New Guinea. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0126747. PMID: 25996916.
Atwell JE, Thumar B, Robinson LJ, Tobby R, Yambo P, Ome-Kaius M, Siba PM, Unger HW, Rogerson SJ, King CL, Karron RA Impact of Placental Malaria and Hypergammaglobulinemia on Transplacental Transfer of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antibody in Papua New Guinea. J Infect Dis. 2015 Aug 3. PMID: 26238686
Unger HW, Ome-Kaius M, Wangnapi RA, Umbers AJ, Hanieh S, Suen CS, Robinson LJ, Rosanas-Urgell A, Wapling J, Lufele E, Kongs C, Samol P, Sui D, Singirok D, Bardaji A, Schofield L, Menendez C, Betuela I, Siba P, Mueller I, Rogerson SJ. Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine plus azithromycin for the prevention of low birthweight in Papua New Guinea: a randomised controlled trial. BMC Med. 2015, 13(1):9. PubMed PMID: 25591391
Laman M, Moore BR, Benjamin JM, Yadi G, Bona C, Warrel J, Kattenberg JH, Koleala T, Manning L, Kasian B, Robinson LJ, Sambale N, Lorry L, Karl S, Davis WA, Rosanas-Urgell A, Mueller I, Siba PM, Betuela I, Davis TM. Artemisinin-naphthoquine versus artemether-lumefantrine for uncomplicated malaria in Papua New Guinean children: an open-label randomized trial. PLoS Med. 2014,11(12). PubMed PMID: 25549086
Senn N, Rarau P, Stanisic DI, Robinson L, Barnadas C, Manong D, Salib M, Iga J, Tarongka N, Ley S, Rosanas-Urgell A, Aponte JJ, Zimmerman PA, Beeson JG, Schofield L, Siba P, Rogerson SJ, Reeder JC, Mueller I. Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in Papua New Guinean infants exposed to Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax: a randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2012, 9(3). PubMed PMID: 22479155
Rosanas-Urgell A, Lin E, Manning L, Rarau P, Laman M, Senn N, Grimberg BT, Tavul L, Stanisic DI, Robinson LJ, Aponte JJ, Dabod E, Reeder JC, Siba P, Zimmerman PA, Davis TM, King CL, Michon P, Mueller I. Reduced risk of Plasmodium vivax malaria in Papua New Guinean children with Southeast Asian ovalocytosis in two cohorts and a case-control study. PLoS Med. 2012, 9(9). PubMed PMID: 22973182
Robinson LJ, D’Ombrain MC, Stanisic DI, Taraika J, Bernard N, Richards JS, Beeson JG, Tavul L, Michon P, Mueller I, Schofield L. Cellular tumor necrosis factor, gamma interferon, and interleukin-6 responses as correlates of immunity and risk of clinical Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children from Papua New Guinea. Infect Immun. 2009, 77 (7). PubMed PMID: 19380468
D’Ombrain MC, Robinson LJ, Stanisic DI, Taraika J, Bernard N, Michon P, Mueller I, Schofield L. Association of early interferon-gamma production with immunity to clinical malaria: a longitudinal study among Papua New Guinean children. Clin Infect Dis. 2008, 47 (11). PubMed PMID: 18947328
Plasmodium vivax has the ability to cause relapsing infections from long-lasting liver stages called hypnozoites. By studying the effect of removing long lasting liver-stages with primaquine treatment on the subsequent risk of P. vivax infection and illness, we have demonstrated that relapses cause around 80 per cent of P. vivax infections in PNG children and are important in sustaining transmission.
Data from these cohort studies is also being used to develop mathematical models of P. vivax relapses to predict the effectiveness of various intervention strategies against P. vivax and study within host, clonal dynamics.
The intensification of the PNG malaria control program over the past 10 years is significantly reducing the burden of malaria and changing the complex relationships between parasites, human hosts and mosquito vectors.
Through a series of repeated community cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal child cohort studies, entomological surveys and hospital-based surveillance in two endemic areas of the country, we are using sensitive molecular diagnostics to monitor the impact of these changes on the age-specific burden of malaria, the natural acquisition of immunity, behavior of vectors and risk factors for infection and transmission, so as to be able to inform ongoing and future control efforts.
This study aims to determine the risk factors for Plasmodium spp. gametocyte carriage and study the temporal associations between the presence and complexity of asexual and sexual Plasmodium spp. infections. In parallel, the study will investigate the relationship between the presence and density of gametocyte in a blood samples and its infectivity to local vectors by conducting a series of standard mosquito membrane feeding assays.
Knowledge of the gametocyte carriers in a population, when gametocytes are most prevalent, and what are the determinants of infectivity to the mosquito vector, is essential for improving the implementation of current control tools and informing the development of novel interventions aimed at the interruption of local transmission.
Our understanding of antibody and cellular immune responses that underpin the development of natural immunity to malaria is still evolving. Utilising samples collected during longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women, infants and children in Madang and Maprik areas of PNG, we are investigating the dynamics of antibody and cellular immune responses, their acquisition, suppression, boosting and maintenance.
In addition, we are investigating trans-placental transfer of antibodies to infectious diseases and the role of pre-natal malaria exposure on immune responses and all-cause morbidity during infancy.