Malaria vaccine research and capacity building in Ghana

Start date
January 1, 2013
End date
April 1, 2018
Project code
Total grant
Contact person
Lars Hviid

The applicants have previously collaborated successfully on malaria
vaccine development, and have characterised a field site area prioritised
by Ghana Health Services. This project builds on these strengths, and
will focus on research and capacity building underpinning the
development of new malaria vaccines targeting the asexual blood-stage
P. falciparum parasites that cause all the clinical symptoms of the most
severe type of malaria in humans. In four Ph.D. study programs we will
conduct laboratory and pre-clinical research on highly promising vaccine
candidate antigens. Specifically, we will study PfEMP1 variants
implicated in the pathogenesis of the most life-threatening malaria
complications. In addition we will study two parasite antigens (PfRh5
and PfRON2), necessary for parasite invasion of erythrocytes, and
known to be targets of immune responses that can interrupt parasite
multiplication. The Ph.D. students will have access to clinically very
carefully characterized malaria patients in an area where the intensity of
transmission is sufficient to make the studies proposed feasible.
Furthermore, all the Ph.D. programs will benefit from renowned
international collaborating experts, and be closely supervised thanks to
an integrated institutional exchange program for senior scientists. We are
confident that this will ensure both cutting-edge collaborative malaria
vaccine development research and genuine and sustainable capacity


Midterm report 2016:

The MAVARECA project was designed to conduct collaborative malaria vaccine research and capacity building. With half a year until the originally scheduled end of the project, we have reported in several high-impact scientific journal papers a series of highly significant research findings obtained as a result of our collaborative research. Three of the four enrolled PhD students are well underway towards submission of their theses. Laboratory facilities have been upgraded and scientific and technical staff has been trained. There has been a number of exchange visits in both directions.