James Cook University accepts grant to create malaria vaccine

JCU accepts grant to create malaria vaccine
JCU accepts grant to create malaria vaccine | Courtesy of
The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), which is part of James Cook University (JCU) in North Queensland, has received a grant to further develop a malaria vaccine.

The goal is to make a vaccine that will help to eliminate malaria from the world health scene.

“There is an urgent need for a broadly effective vaccine to attack all strains, species and life stage of malaria,” AITHM Director Louis Schofield said. “However, this is a major challenge: five malaria parasite species infect humans, and the parasites are complex and hard to target. Some forms infect people through the bite of a mosquito; other forms proliferate in the blood and cause disease, and yet different forms are passed from human to mosquitoes to complete the cycle. Our prototype vaccine attempts to overcome these barriers by attacking most species and stages in the malaria life cycle.

The research grant, which is from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will be spent in collaboration with other scientists based in the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. There are also other institutions and researchers involved in the U.S.

“This is a further major endorsement of the outstanding work undertaken by JCU and AITHM in tropical medical research,” Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said.

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