The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Surveillance and spread of artemisinin drug resistance and local Anopheles spp. adaptation of Plasmodium falciparum

Day group

Artemisinin combination therapy is the front-line drug treatment for malaria, but drug resistance has already emerged in Southeast Asia. Africa bears the greatest burden of disease accounting for over 94% of cases and deaths. Currently there is little evidence of artemisinin resistance in Africa, but new mutations are being discovered which lead to delayed drug clearance (i.e., “resistance”). Genomic surveillance of pfs47 can be monitored to inform whether parasites have migrated from one region to another. This gene plays a role in local adaptation between the Anopheles spp. mosquito (i.e., vector) and the malaria parasite. And it may also be in close proximity to the gene that regulates artemisinin resistance. With heightened human migration influencing the spread of parasites from different regions of the globe, tracking this gene can help us inform the movement of drug resistance genotypes/phenotypes and help prevent resistance to artemisinin.

Project site: Bio21 Institute

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Karen Day

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Day group

8 vacancies

Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Computational Science and Genomics
Global Health
Public Health

Professor Karen Day runs a multidisciplinary malaria research group that utilises molecular epidemiology to study the role that variation in human, parasite, and vector genomes plays in modulating transmission dynamics of Plasmodium spp. She is also interested in cell-to-cell communication in malaria parasites to alter population behaviour. She has a strong track record in interdisciplinary training of the next generation of infectious disease epidemiologists.