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The Human Malaria Immunology Lab’s research is focused on identifying cellular mechanisms that drive the induction of protective humoral responses to human infection. The group primarily focuses on Plasmodium parasite infection, the causative parasite of malaria using a human cohort of experimental and natural infection to understand immune development.

Some of the key research challenges:

  • Identifying and characterising key functional mechanisms of antibodies that mediate protection
  • Defining the key cellular mechanisms that promote the generation of functional antibodies
  • Quantifying the impact of host age and prior malaria exposure on antibody development

Dean Andrew graduated from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane with BSc (Hons) in 2008 and worked on a Chlamydia vaccine project for 5 years, exploring the potential of novel adjuvants and different immunization routes in a vaccine against Chlamydia infections in humans and koalas. Dean moved to the Burnet Institute in Melbourne in 2013 to continue work on vaccine adjuvants but in the malaria field, investigating vaccine protection against the blood stage of the malaria infection. In 2016, Dean became involved in a separate project at the Burnet Institute to improve diagnostic tests in tuberculosis.  Dean returned to malaria work at The University of Melbourne to study the transmission stage of the malaria parasite and identify mechanisms to inhibit its development.  Dean then relocated to Brisbane in 2019 and joined Michelle Boyle’s Human Malaria Immunology Lab at QIMR Berghofer, where he has supported the team as they have identified important immune cell subsets that are responsible for the complex immunity that develops in malaria exposed individuals.