Free, all welcome (booking not needed) Bring your friends!

Free pizza and drinks after the talk

At GTAC, located in the grounds of University High School, corner Royal Parade and Story Street, Parkville (enter off Story Street or Royal Parade)

Wednesday 20th November 2013, 6:30 pm

Professor Ivo Mueller

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute & Barcelona Centre for International Health Research

"The molecular epidemiology of malaria in the SW Pacific"

Humans and malaria parasites have been co-evolving for thousands of years. Malaria has been a major force in the evolution of the human genome, with gene mutations that provide humans with some protection against the disease. It has long been assumed that P. falciparum, the species that causes the most severe disease and most deaths from malaria, is the most important driver of this gene selection in humans. However, recent experiments that P. vivax malaria, considered until recently to be a “benign” form of malaria, is deadlier than originally believed and actually causes severe enough disease to provide evolutionary selection pressures in the Asia-Pacific region. Through a series of in-depth epidemiological studies conducting from 2003-2010 in PNG, we found that P. vivax is responsible for >70% infections in infants and toddlers. Relapses from long-lasting liver-stages contribute up to 75% of all P. vivax infections. This high burden in early life leads to a very rapid acquisition of immunity and specific host-genetic adaptations to P. vivax as well as reduced parasite population structure compared to P. falciparum.

Prof. Mueller was born and educated in Switzerland. He moved to the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, where he held positions as Malaria Epidemiologist, Head Vector Borne Disease Unit, Chief Scientist, & Deputy Director for Science. He currently holds a joint appointment between CRESIB and The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia 

We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and GTAC for the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series

Further Info:         David Vaux       9345 2941