Associate Professor Leanne Robinson

Associate Professor Leanne Robinson



Professor Leanne Robinson in Papua New Guinea


Associate Professor

BSc Adv (Hons) Syd PhD Melb MPH Monash/JCU

Laboratory Head

My research aims to better understand, diagnose, treat and prevent mosquito-borne parasitic diseases, particularly malaria and filariasis.

I am based at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) in Madang, where I head the Vector Borne Diseases Unit. My laboratory’s research is highly collaborative and we conduct clinical, field and laboratory-based studies.

Our goal is to inform the development and implementation of effective, evidence-based public health programs that will ultimately lead to the elimination of malaria and filariasis. I also aim to use our research program to develop the capacity of young researchers in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Research interest

Areas of particular interest include:

  • Measuring the impact of intensified malaria control on the epidemiology and transmission of malaria in PNG.
  • Revealing the burden of Plasmodium vivax infection and illness attributable to relapses from hypnozoites.
  • Understanding how clinical immunity to malaria is acquired by infants, children and pregnant women and identifying immunological correlates of protection.
  • Defining how immunological memory to malaria develops, and the impact of pre-natal exposure to malaria on immune responses and all-cause morbidity during infancy.
  • Discovering serological markers of recent malaria exposure for development as potential tools in pre-elimination settings.
  • Determining the infectivity of symptomatic and asymptomatic P. falciparum and P. vivax infections to mosquitoes.
  • Conducting intervention trials of anti-malarial drug combinations and intermittent preventative therapy during infancy and pregnancy.
  • Developing drug regimes for malaria and filariasis mass drug administration campaigns.
  • Testing in vitro drug sensitivity and drug resistance.
  • Investigating effective strategies for population-level screening of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency for use in future mass treatment programs that may utilise primaquine or tafenoquine.
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.

Malaria parasite in the bloodstream

Visualisation of the parasite infection inside a pregnant female mosquito.