Professor James Beeson

Deputy Director (People); Head of Malaria Immunity and Vaccines Laboratory; Adjunct Professor Monash University


An ARC and NHMRC research fellow, and a public health physician, Professor Beeson completed his medical degree at Monash University in 1992.

Based at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research with field work at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Program, Malawi his thesis titled ‘Mechanisms of placental infection by Plasmodium falciparum,’ commenced in February 1997 and passed in January 2001 through the University of Melbourne.

Following postgraduate specialty training as a public health physician in 2001, he headed a research group at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute from 2004-2010. In January 2011 he joined Burnet Institute.

Professor Beeson has worked in malaria research in Africa and Asia for 20 years, including Malawi, Kenya, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

His research group primarily focuses on understanding how malaria causes disease in people and how immunity to malaria develops, and on the development of interventions to reduce malaria such as vaccines or public health programs. Their research currently involves clinical and population studies in Papua New Guinea, Africa and Asia.

With a particular interest in the affects of malaria in pregnancy, and maternal health more broadly, Professor Beeson completed his PhD thesis on malaria in pregnancy, which included studies in Malawi, Central Africa.

This work has highlighted the challenge of improving maternal health in resource-poor countries with a high burden of disease, emphasising the need for programs and interventions that address multiple causes of poor maternal health rather than specific diseases in isolation.

Listen to Professor Beeson on Episode 8 of our How Science Matters podcast


  • 2017: Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
  • 2017: Investigator, Australian Centre for Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination (ACREME)
  • 2017: Deputy Director (People), Burnet Institute
  • 2014: Head, Centre for Biomedical Research, Burnet Institute
  • 2013: Co-Head, Centre for Biomedical Research, Burnet Institute
  • 2012: Adjunct Professor to the Department of Microbiology, Monash University
  • 2011: Head, Centre for Immunology, Burnet Institute
  • 2011: Principal, Maternal and Child Health, Burnet Institute
  • 2011: Head, Beeson Laboratory, Burnet Institute


  • 2001: PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 1992: MB BS (Hon) Monash University, Australia
  • 1990: B.Med.Sc. (Hon) Monash University, Australia

Professional Affiliations

  • 2001: Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, (Public Health Physician)
  • 1998-2001: Advanced Fellowship Training Program. Admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty, April 2001.
  • 1992: Registered Medical Practitioner, Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria
  • Member of the Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases
  • Member of the Australian Society for Parasitology
  • Member of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


  • 2007: Cosmos Science Magazine Bright Sparks Award (A listing of 10 leading Australian researchers under 40)
  • 2006: Burnet Prize, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
  • 2002: Chancellors Prize for most outstanding PhD thesis, University of Melbourne,
  • 2001: Premier’s Award for Medical Research, State Government of Victoria, Australia

Projects (12)

Current (10)

  • Accelerating access to postnatal care and chlorhexidine in PNG

  • Clinical studies on malaria

  • Developing vaccines against malaria

  • Discovering the mechanisms and targets of immunity against malaria

  • Evaluating a highly sensitive rapid malaria diagnostic in PNG

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • HMHB: The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants

  • Immunity to malaria and infectious diseases during pregnancy

  • Major advances in understanding malaria immunity and biology

  • Vaccines against Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria

Publications (240)

2022 (6)

2021 (19)

2020 (10)

2019 (24)

2018 (20)

2017 (19)

2016 (19)

2015 (20)

2014 (12)

2013 (12)

2012 (11)

2011 (8)

2010 (12)

2009 (4)

2008 (10)

2007 (6)

2006 (3)

2005 (5)

2004 (6)

2002 (4)

2001 (4)

2000 (3)

1999 (3)

News Articles (107)

2022 (3)

2021 (10)

2020 (7)

2019 (9)

2018 (19)

2017 (10)

2016 (9)

2015 (18)

2014 (10)

2013 (2)

2012 (9)

2011 (1)