Dr Michelle Wykes, QIMR Berghofer, Brisbane, QLD.
Malaria is a debilitating disease affecting over 250 million people around the world and resulting in the deaths of approximately one million people; most are children under five years old. Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites called Plasmodium that are spread from person to person by mosquitoes. There are six species of parasite that infect humans, and they are becoming ever more resistant to the drugs used to prevent infection and treat established disease.
The major area of research interest is centered on understanding immunology of malaria and using this knowledge to address fundamental questions in immunology.
Our research focuses on:
- Identifying the role of dendritic cells in the life cycle of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium spp.
- Using experimental rodent malaria infection to understand the pathogenesis of malaria
- Understanding the role of Programmed cell death-1 and PD-L2 in immunity against malaria
- Identification of host molecular pathways or immunological signals that contribute to protection against malaria