Professor Brendan Crabb AC PhD FAHMS is an infectious disease researcher with a special interest on malaria. His research group develops and exploits genetic approaches to better understand malaria parasite biology, principally to help prioritise vaccine and drug targets.
Since 2008 he has been the Director and CEO of the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health Ltd (Burnet Institute). He is the past-President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), the peak body for independent medical research Institutes in Australia.
He is currently a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (FAHMS), serves on the Council of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia and on the boards of both AAMRI and Research Australia.
Internationally, he serves on the International Advisory Boards of both the Sanger Institute (UK) and the Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Committee at PATH/MVI (USA), a group he chaired for the previous four years. In his home state of Victoria, Professor Crabb serves on the Victorian Government’s Science, Medical Research and Technology (SMaRT) Panel and is President of the Victorian Chapter of AAMRI.
Apart from his own research and leading the Burnet Institute, Australia’s leading independent global health research organisation, Professor Crabb has a strong general interest in promoting policies that embed medical research into local and international health program delivery, especially the translation of research into health solutions.
In 2015, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia’s highest civilian honour, for contributions to better understanding infectious diseases and their impact on poor and vulnerable communities, and for fostering medical research as an advocate, mentor and administrator.
Select Recent Publications
- Biosynthesis, localisation and macromolecular arrangement of the Plasmodium falciparum translocon of exported proteins; PTEX.
Bullen HE, Charnaud SC, Kalanon M, Riglar DT, Dekiwadia C, Kangwanrangsan N, Torii M, Tsuboi T, Baum J, Ralph SA, Cowman AF, de Koning-Ward TF, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
J Biol Chem. 2012 Jan; 287(11):7871-7884
- Biochemical and Functional Analysis of Two Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage 6-Cys Proteins: P12 and P41.
Taechalertpaisarn T, Crosnier C, Bartholdson SJ, Hodder AN, Thompson J, Bustamante LY, Wilson DW, Sanders PR, Wright GJ, Rayner JC, Cowman AF, Gilson PR, Crabb BS
PLoS One. 2012 Jul; 7(7):e41937
- Protein kinase a dependent phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 plays an important role in erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite.
Leykauf K, Treeck M, Gilson PR , Nebl T, Braulke T, Cowman AF, Gilberger TW, Crabb BS.
PLoS Pathogens. 2010. 6(6):e1000941
- An aspartyl protease directs malaria effector proteins to the host cell.
Boddey JA , Hodder AN, Gunther S, Gilson PR, Patsiouras H, Kapp EA, Pearce JA, de Koning-Ward TF, Simpson RJ, Crabb BS, Cowman AF.
- A newly discovered protein export machine in malaria parasites.
de Koning-Ward TF, Gilson PR, Boddey JA, Rug M, Smith BJ, Papenfuss AT, Sanders PR, Lundie RJ, Maier AG, Cowman AF, Crabb BS.
Nature. 2009. 459(7249):945-949
- Morphology and kinetics of the three distinct phases of red blood cell invasion by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites.
Gilson PR, Crabb BS.
Int J Parasitol. 2009. 39(1):91-96
- Identification and stoichiometry of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane proteins of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
Gilson PR, Nebl T, Vukcevic D, Moritz RL, Sargeant T, Speed TP, Schofield L, Crabb BS.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2006. 5(7):1286-1299
- Exported proteins required for virulence and rigidity of Plasmodium falciparum-infected human erythrocytes.
Maier AG, Rug M, O'Neill MT, Brown M, Chakravorty S, Szestak T, Chesson J, Wu Y, Hughes K, Coppel RL, Newbold C, Beeson JG, Craig A, Crabb BS, Cowman AF.
Cell. 2008. 134(1):48-61
- A var gene promoter controls allelic exclusion of virulence genes in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
Voss TS, Healer J, Marty AJ, Duffy MF, Thompson JK, Beeson JG, Reeder JC, Crabb BS, Cowman AF.
Nature. 2006. 439(7079):1004-1008
- Director and Chief Executive Officer, Burnet Institute, 2008-ongoing.
- Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Centre for Cancer Biology, UniSA and SA Pathology from 2015.
- Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) from 2014.
- President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), 2012-2014.
- Member, Alfred Medical Research & Education Precinct Council from 2013.
- Board member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) from 2012.
- Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) from 2012.
- Member, PATH/Malaria Vaccine Initiative Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Council, USA from 2008
- Professor (Adjunct), University of Melbourne and Monash University.
- Board Member, AMREP AS Pty Ltd
- Board of Management, Gene Technology Access Centre.
- Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Malaria Program, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
- 1992: PhD, (Virology) School of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne,Victoria, Australia
- 1988: BSc, (Hons) Department of Microbiology, University of Melbourne, Australia
- 1987: BSc, University of Melbourne, Australia
- Plasmodium falciparum parasites deploy RhopH2 into the host erythrocyte to obtain nutrients, grow and replicate.
Counihan N, Chisholm SA, Bullen HE, Srivastava A, Sanders PR, Jonsdottir TK, Weiss GE, Ghosh S, Crabb BS, Creek DJ, Gilson PR, de Koning-Ward TF
eLife. 2017 Mar; 6(pii):e23217
- Differing rates of antibody acquisition to merozoite antigens in malaria: implications for immunity and surveillance.
McCallum FJ, Persson KM, Fowkes FJ, Reiling L, Mugyenyi CK, Richards JS, Simpson JA, Williams TN, Gilson PR, Hodder AN, Sanders PR, Anders RF, Narum DL, Chitnis C, Crabb BS, Marsh K, Beeson JG.
J Leukoc Biol. 2017 Feb; Epub ahead of print
- Host cell remodeling in malaria parasites: a new pool of potential drug targets.
Gilson PR, Chisholm SA, Crabb BS, de Koning-Ward TF
Int J Parasitol. 2017 Feb; 47(2-3):119-127
- Optimization of 2-anilino 4-amino substituted quinazolines into potent antimalarial agents with oral in vivo activity.
Gilson PR, Tan C, Jarman KE, Lowes KN, Curtis JM, Nguyen W, Di Rago AE, Bullen HE, Prinz B, Duffy S, Baell JB, Hutton CA, Jousset Sabroux H, Crabb BS, Avery VM, Cowman AF, Sleebs BE
J Med Chem. 2017 Jan; 60(3):1171-1188
- Disrupting the allosteric interaction between the Plasmodium falciparum cAMP-dependent kinase and its regulatory subunit.
Littler DR, Bullen HE, Harvey KL, Beddoe T, Crabb BS, Rossjohn J, Gilson PR
J Biol Chem. 2016 Dec; 291(49):25375-25386
- Molecular genetic approaches to malaria research. (Book Chapter)
Elsworth B, Azevedo MF, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
in Advances in Malaria Research (Eds. Gaur D, Chitnis CE and Chauhan VS) Wiley Blackwell. 2016 Dec
- Identification of inhibitors that dually target the new permeability pathway and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase in the blood stage of Plasmodium falciparum.
Dickerman BK, Elsworth B, Cobbold SA, Nie CQ, McConville MJ, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
Sci Rep. 2016 Nov; 6:37502
- Trafficking of the exported P. falciparum chaperone PfHsp70x.
Rhiel M, Bittl V, Tribensky A, Charnaud SC, Strecker M, Müller S, Lanzer M, Sanchez C, Schaeffer-Reiss C, Westermann B, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, Külzer S, Przyborski JM
Sci Rep. 2016 Nov; 6:36174
- Liver-Resident Memory CD8+ T Cells Form a Front-Line Defense against Malaria Liver-Stage Infection.
Fernandez-Ruiz D, Ng WY, Holz LE, Ma JZ, Zaid A, Wong YC, Lau LS, Mollard V, Cozijnsen A, Collins N, Li J, Davey GM, Kato Y, Devi S, Skandari R, Pauley M, Manton JH, Godfrey DI, Braun A, Tay SS, Tan PS, Bowen DG, Koch-Nolte F, Rissiek B, Carbone FR, Crabb BS, Lahoud M, Cockburn IA, Mueller SN, Bertolino P, McFadden GI, Caminschi I, Heath WR
Immunity. 2016 Oct; 45(4):889-902
- Hierarchical phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 is required for efficient red blood cell invasion by malaria parasites.
Prinz B, Harvey KL, Wilcke L, Ruch U, Engelberg K, Biller L, Lucet I, Erkelenz S, Heincke D, Spielmann T, Doerig C, Kunick C, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, Gilberger TW
Sci Rep. 2016 Oct; 6:34479
- Antimalarial activity of novel 4-cyano-3-methylisoquinoline inhibitors against Plasmodium falciparum: design, synthesis and biological evaluation.
Buskes MJ, Harvey KL, Richards BJ, Kalhor R, Christoff RM, Gardhi CK, Littler DR, Cope ED, Prinz B, Weiss GE, O'Brien NJ, Crabb BS, Deady LW, Gilson PR, Abbott BM
Org Biomol Chem. 2016 Apr; 14(20):4617-4639
- Proteomic analysis reveals novel proteins associated with the Plasmodium protein exporter PTEX and a loss of complex stability upon truncation of the core PTEX component, PTEX150.
Elsworth B, Sanders PR, Nebl T, Batinovic S, Kalanon M, Nie CQ, Charnaud SC, Bullen HE, de Koning Ward TF, Tilley L, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
Cell Microbiol. 2016 Mar; 18(11):1551-1569
- Exploration of 3-methylisoquinoline-4-carbonitriles as protein kinase A inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum.
Buskes MJ, Harvey KL, Prinz B, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, Wilson DJ, Abbott BM
Bioorg Med Chem. 2016 Mar; 24(11):2389-2396
- Recruitment of Factor H as a Novel Complement Evasion Strategy for Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum Infection.
Kennedy AT, Schmidt CQ, Thompson JK, Weiss GE, Taechalertpaisarn T, Gilson PR, Barlow PN, Crabb BS, Cowman AF, Tham WH
J Immunol. 2016 Feb; 196(3):1239-1248
- Overlaying Molecular and Temporal Aspects of Malaria Parasite Invasion.
Weiss GE, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
Trends Parasitol. 2016 Jan; 32(4):284-295
- Contrasting Patterns of Serologic and Functional Antibody Dynamics to Plasmodium falciparum Antigens in a Kenyan Birth Cohort.
Dent AE, Malhotra I, Wang X, Babineau D, Yeo KT, Anderson T, Kimmel RJ, Angov E, Lanar DE, Narum D, Dutta S, Richards J, Beeson JG, Crabb BS, Cowman AF, Horii T, Muchiri E, Mungai PL, King CL, Kazura JW
Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2016 Jan; 23(2):104-116
- Macrolides rapidly inhibit red blood cell invasion by the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.
Wilson DW, Goodman CD, Sleebs BE, Weiss GE, de Jong NW, Angrisano F, Langer C, Baum J, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, McFadden GI, Beeson JG
BMC Biol. 2015 Jul; 13(1):52
- A Plasmodium Falciparum Bromodomain Protein Regulates Invasion Gene Expression.
Josling GA, Petter M, Oehring SC, Gupta AP, Dietz O, Wilson DW, Schubert T, Längst G, Gilson PR, Crabb BS, Moes S, Jenoe P, Lim SW, Brown GV, Bozdech Z, Voss TS, Duffy MF
Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Jun; 17(6):741-751
- Advances in molecular genetic systems in malaria.
de Koning-Ward TF, Gilson PR, Crabb BS
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 May; 13(6):373-387
- Research as altruism.
Swannell C, Crabb B
MJA. 2015 Apr; 202(4):63-64
- Why Australia needs a Medical Research Future Fund.
Cunningham AL, Anderson T, Bennett CC, Crabb BS, Goodier G, Hilton D, Koff E, Trapani J
Med J Aust. 2015 Feb; 202(3):123-124
- Identification of Potent Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors that Demonstrate Cyclic Nucleotide-Dependent Functions in Apicomplexan Parasites.
Howard BL, Harvey KL, Stewart R, Azevedo MF, Crabb BS, Jennings IG, Sanders PR, Manallack DT, Thompson PE, Tonkin CJ, Gilson PR
ACS Chem Biol. 2015 Jan; 10(4):1145-1154
- Plasmodium falciparum Transfected with Ultra Bright NanoLuc Luciferase Offers High Sensitivity Detection for the Screening of Growth and Cellular Trafficking Inhibitors.
Azevedo MF, Nie CQ, Elsworth B, Charnaud SC, Sanders PR, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
PLoS One. 2014 Nov; 9(11):e112571
- Insights and controversies into the role of the key Apicomplexan invasion ligand, Apical Membrane Antigen 1.
Harvey KL, Yap A, Gilson PR, Cowman AF, Crabb BS
Int J Parasitol. 2014 Aug; 44(12):853-857
- PTEX is an essential nexus for protein export in malaria parasites.
Elsworth B, Matthews K, Nie CQ, Kalanon M, Charnaud SC, Sanders PR, Chisholm SA, Counihan NA, Shaw PJ, Pino P, Chan J-A, Azevedo MF, Rogerson SJ, Beeson JG, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, de Koning-Ward TF
Nature. 2014 Jul; 511(7511):587-591
- CD8+ T Cells from a Novel T Cell Receptor Transgenic Mouse Induce Liver-Stage Immunity That Can Be Boosted by Blood-Stage Infection in Rodent Malaria.
Lau LS, Fernandez-Ruiz D, Mollard V, Sturm A, Neller MA, Cozijnsen A, Gregory JL, Davey GM, Jones CM, Lin YH, Haque A, Engwerda CR, Nie CQ, Hansen DS, Murphy KM, Papenfuss AT, Miles JJ, Burrows SR, de Koning-Ward T, McFadden GI, Carbone FR, Crabb BS, Heath WR
PLoS Pathog. 2014 May; 10(5):e1004135
- The role of parasite Heat Shock Proteins in protein trafficking and host cell remodeling. (Book Chapter)
Charnaud SC, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
in Heat Shock Proteins of Malaria (Eds Addmore Shonhai, Gregory L. Blatch). 2014 Mar; Chapter 6:99-118
- Conditional expression of apical membrane antigen 1 in Plasmodium falciparum shows it is required for erythrocyte invasion by merozoites.
Yap A, Azevedo MF, Gilson PR, Weiss GE, O Neill MT, Wilson DW, Crabb BS, Cowman AF
Cell Microbiol. 2014 Feb; 16(5):642-656
- Protein export in malaria parasites: an update.
Elsworth B, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
Cell Microbiol. 2014 Jan; 16(3):355-363
- The Plasmodium translocon of exported proteins (PTEX) component thioredoxin-2 is important for maintaining normal blood-stage growth.
Matthews K, Kalanon M, Chisholm SA, Sturm A, Goodman CD, Dixon MW, Sanders PR, Nebl T, Fraser F, Haase S, McFadden GI, Gilson PR, Crabb BS, de Koning-Ward TF
Mol Microbiol. 2013 Jul; 89(6):1167-1186
- Identification and prioritization of merozoite antigens as targets of protective human immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria for vaccine and biomarker development.
Richards JS, Arumugam TU, Reiling L, Healer J, Hodder AN, Fowkes FJ, Cross N, Langer C, Takeo S, Uboldi AD, Thompson JK, Gilson PR, Coppel RL, Siba PM, King CL, Torii M, Chitnis CE, Narum DL, Mueller I, Crabb BS, Cowman AF, Tsuboi T, Beeson JG
J Immunol. 2013 Jun; 191(2):795-809
- Inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum CDPK1 by conditional expression of its J-domain demonstrates a key role in schizont development.
Azevedo MF, Sanders PR, Krejany E, Nie CQ, Fu P, Bach LA, Wunderlich G, Crabb BS, Gilson PR
Biochem J. 2013 Apr; 452(3):433-441
- Host cell remodelling and protein trafficking.
Haase S, Bullen HE, Charnaud SC, Crabb BS, Gilson PR, de Koning-Ward TF
in Malaria Parasites: Comparative Genomics , Evolution and Molecular Biology Ed. Carlton JM, Perkins SL, Deitsch KW. 2013 Jan; pp:199-219