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Alessia Hysa

PhD Student
Square Alessia Hysa 210X210

Alessia is a PhD student at the Burnet Institute and the University of Melbourne working with the Beeson group on developing novel malaria vaccines under the supervision of Prof James Beeson, Dr Liriye Kurtovic, and Dr Herbert Opi. Her PhD project primarily focuses on the current, leading pre-erythrocytic stage vaccine RTS,S which confers modest efficacy (55% over 12 months in phase III clinical trials).

Alessia is determining the specific conserved, variable, and polymorphic epitopes within the vaccine antigen (circumsporozoite protein) responsible for mediating highly protective RTS,S-induced antibody responses.

Additionally, she investigates how the presence of diverse P. falciparum strains circulating in malaria-endemic regions impacts RTS,S efficacy. Through this work, Alessia seeks to inform the development of highly protective next-generation P. falciparum vaccines.

Alessia previously obtained a Master of Biomedical Science in 2022 (Burnet Institute and the University of Melbourne) and a Bachelor of Biomedicine in 2020 (the University of Melbourne).

  • 2023-present: Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2021-2022: Master of Biomedical Science, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2018-2020: Bachelor of Biomedicine (Infections and Immunity), University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2024: Pauline Speedy Biomedical Research Travel Fellowship
  • 2023: Best Poster Presentation by a Student at the Malaria in Melbourne 2023 conference
  • 2023: Best Poster Prize at the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network 2023 Young Investigator Symposium
  • 2022: Australian Society for Parasitology (ASP) Student Conference Travel Grant to attend the 2022 ASP Annual Meeting
  • 2022: ASI Travel Bursary to attend 2022 ASI Annual Scientific Meeting
  • 2022: 3MT (3-min thesis) Presentation Winner at the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) IgV Student Roadshow
  • 2021: Melbourne Graduate Access Bursary