$2.5 million in NHMRC funding for the eradication of Malaria in the Asia-Pacific

IMPACT’s Professor Alyssa Barry has been successful in securing NHMRC funding alongside Australian leading experts in infectious diseases.

MASTER-MAP is a new Centre of Research Excellence that aims to address critical roadblocks in malaria surveillance, prevention and treatment.  

The exciting new centre has secured $2.5 million over five years as part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) grants. 

Currently, over 2 billion residents of the Asia-Pacific region live at risk of malaria infection, which can be prevented and treated with the correct responses.  

MASTER-MAP: Modern Acceleration STrategies for ERadication of Malaria in the Asia-Pacific

The NHMRC CRE funding will launch the MASTER-MAP CRE and help provide new strategies in line with the priority of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) — a coalition of 22 Asia-Pacific governments, including Australia, committed to eliminating malaria by 2030. 

The project will be led by Professor Freya Fowkes from the Burnet Institute and includes experts from Deakin University, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Burnet Institute, Doherty, Menzies School of Health Research and Curtin University/Telethon Kid’s Institute.  

The team of experts already have over a decade of experience working together on successful projects funded by international and national competitive grants.  

Their focus will be on malaria-endemic countries in the Asia-Pacific region, to conduct critical research to improve the efficacy of key malaria interventions. They will be supported by an expert group of institutions from Australia and the Asia-Pacific, in addition to regional hubs in South-East Asia and the Pacific. 

This exciting announcement comes after the recent launch of the Centre for Innovation in Infectious Disease and Immunology Research (CIIDIR), led by Professor Alyssa Barry and Professor Eugene Athan, highlighting IMPACT’s growth and the increasing capabilities of infectious diseases research in the Geelong region.  

MASTER-MAP will apply and implement tools and knowledge to address key challenges in malaria elimination. Deakin will provide insights from genomics of the dominant malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, to address issues such as mapping transmission, tackling drug resistance and improving vaccine efficacy.

– Professor Alyssa Barry

The Deakin team including several members from CIIDIR, will contribute to the combined expertise of the MASTER-MAP team, bringing together world-leading expertise in immunology, genomics, epidemiology, modelling/biostatistics, spatial epidemiology, surveillance and clinical research. 

Meet the team 

  • CIA – Professor Freya Fowkes 
  • CIB – Professor Leanne Robinson 
  • CIC – Professor Julie Simpson 
  • CID – Professor Richard Price 
  • CIE – Professor Peter Gething 
  • CIF – Professor Alyssa Barry 
  • CIG – Professor James Beeson 
  • CIH – Associate Professor Kamala Ley-Thriemer  
  • CII – Associate Professor Bridget Barber 
  • CIJ – Professor Ivo Mueller