Understanding malaria infection dynamics

Understanding malaria infection dynamics

Project details

Malaria is an infectious disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. Renewed intensification of global malaria control interventions over the past decade has had significant success. However, as we try to eliminate malaria, infections become harder to detect yet contribute to ongoing transmission. We aim to better understand infection burden in areas approaching elimination. 

Using samples collected from large-scale epidemiological field studies in Asia-Pacific, this project will apply novel genotyping and molecular diagnostic techniques to identify and track malaria infections over space and time and within individuals. Genetic data will be related to epidemiological data helping us understand spatiotemporal infection dynamics and risk factors.

This project will develop your skills in genetic and next-generation sequencing techniques, epidemiology, computational data analysis, and will involve work with international collaborators. 

About our research group

The Mueller and Robinson laboratories lead field- and laboratory-based studies in malaria-affected regions of Asia, the Pacific and South America. We have a wide range of expertise in genetics, genomics (NGS), population genetics, immunology, epidemiology, bioinformatics, biostatistics and mathematical modelling. We work closely with other groups at the Institute, interstate and overseas including researchers at Institut Pasteur (France) and field researchers in malaria-endemic countries. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to malaria elimination programs.

Dr Shazia Ruybal-Pesántez is a genomic epidemiologist with expertise in population genetics, bioinformatics, and epidemiology. Her work in the lab combines these approaches to better understand malaria infection dynamics and host-parasite factors that contribute to sustaining malaria transmission in countries nearing elimination.


Email supervisors



Dr Shazia Ruybal
Population Health and Immunity

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