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NHMRC grant supports development for new malaria vaccines

  • 03 May 2024


James Beeson in a lab looking into a microscope.
Professor James Beeson received the Investigator Grant.

The Burnet head of malaria immunity and vaccines group, Professor James Beeson, was awarded a five-year grant totalling AUD$2.9 million for his work on ‘New pathways to achieve highly protective and long-lasting malaria vaccines’.

The Investigator Grant by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will allow Professor Beeson to pursue important new research directions as they arise, adjust resources accordingly, and form collaborations as needed, rather than being restricted to the scope of a specific research project.

“This program will advance the development of highly potent and durable malaria vaccines through novel and innovative techniques to identify crucial targets for protective immunity against malaria,” Professor Beeson said.

“We will determine the reasons behind short-lived immunity and develop strategies for new vaccines that offer long-lasting protection with sustained effectiveness.

“These objectives will be supported by complementary vaccine development and translational activities for new approaches to malaria vaccines.”

Malaria is a major global cause of illness and death, particularly in children. It severely impedes education, equity and economic development in endemic countries.

Progress in reducing the global burden of malaria has stalled since 2015, with a risk of further increases in the coming years.

The Investigator Grant scheme is the NHMRC’s largest funding scheme and is a major investment in Australia’s health and medical research workforce.

“Australian science is thriving, and our researchers, working in leading-edge health and medical research with a record of achieving impact, are setting the standard for others to follow,” NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh said.