Mapping how multiple malaria episodes are related

Mapping how multiple malaria episodes are related

Project details

Effective drugs against malaria – a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites - are essential, however Plasmodium vivax can form a dormant stage in the liver (hypnozoite) that is particularly difficult to kill, leading to disease relapse. As we try to eliminate malaria these relapses cause a greater proportion of malaria in a country. 

Focusing on the liver stage of malaria, this project aims to determine the relationship between consecutive vivax infections, helping us understand the contribution of relapsing parasites to ongoing transmission (Robinson, PLoS Med 2015 12(10):e1001891). We will map this to genetic differences in human hosts to determine risk and treatments. This project will develop your skills in molecular biology and genetic sequencing technologies, and will involve collaboration with researchers in bioinformatics and mathematical modelling. 

About our research group

Dr Sarah Charnaud leads the molecular work for the Mueller laboratory, focusing on host and parasite genomics., utilising new technologies including long read sequencing, genetic manipulation, drug screens, and maximizing and multiplexing samples to be relevant for large clinical trials in developing countries. 

Professor Ivo Mueller leads field- and laboratory-based studies in malaria-affected regions of Asia, the Pacific and South America, that are contributing to malaria elimination programs. Expertise in our division includes genetics, genomics (NGS), population genetics, serology (antibody studies), epidemiology, bioinformatics and biostatistics. The lab group works closely with other groups at the Institute, interstate and overseas including researchers at the Sanger Institute (UK), Broad Institute (USA) and field researchers in malaria endemic countries in the Asia Pacific.  


Dr Sarah Charnaud profile photo
Population Health and Immunity division

Professor Ivo Mueller

Professor Ivo Mueller
Joint Division Head

Project Type: