The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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


Research Projects

Project: Development of a malaria-specific mRNA vaccine

Heath Group

Malaria is a global health problem that causes approximately 400,000 deaths every year, and is in need of an effective vaccine. This project will focus on assessing the efficacy of an mRNA vaccine to generate malaria-specific tissue-resident memory (Trm) cells in the liver. Memory T cell responses to mRNA vaccines encoding various malaria proteins expressed during the liver stage of infection will be measured by flow cytometry, ELIspot and IVIS techniques. The protective capacity of vaccines found to elicit strong Trm cell responses will be assessed by challenging mice with malaria parasites.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Dr Laurenz Holz

Project Co-supervisor

Professor William Heath

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Heath Group

8 vacancies

Bacterial and Parasitic Infections
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research

The Heath group is interested in the immune response to pathogens, particularly to malaria, which is still a major cause of mortality worldwide. We study T cell responses with the aim of improving vaccine strategies and focus on T cell responses in the skin, the liver and lymphoid organs including the spleen. Our lab recently discovered a population of resident memory T cells within the liver that are capable of protecting against malaria infection. These and other cells are currently being studied. 

Heath Group Current Projects