Target Malaria is a not-for-profit research consortium that aims to develop and share technology for malaria control.
Target Malaria started as university-based research programme and has grown to include scientists, stakeholder engagement teams, risk assessment specialists and regulatory experts from Africa, North America and Europe.
Target Malaria receives core funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from the Open Philanthropy Project Fund, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Individual labs also received additional funding from a variety of sources to support each lab’s work, including DEFRA, the European Commission, MRC, NIH, Ugandan Ministry of Health, Wellcome Trust, UNCST.
The partner institutions include: CDC Foundation, USA, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, USA, Imperial College London, UK, Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Burkina Faso, Keele University, UK, Malaria Research & Training Center, Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako, Mali, Polo d’Innovazione di Genomica, Genetica e Biologia (Polo GGB), Italy, USA, Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Uganda, University of Cambridge, UK, University of Notre Dame, USA, University of Oxford, UK, University of Perugia, Italy, University of Washington, USA.
Our teams are organised around ‘functions’, often working across multiple locations
The ‘Science’ teams
The scientific teams bring together experts in protein engineering, molecular biology, population genetics, entomology, and modelling.
The protein engineering and molecular biology teams are focused on developing the different stages of the technology, looking at how the modifications can best be built and most efficiently inserted in the malaria mosquito’s genes. The entomologists and population geneticists are studying local mosquito populations, to understand their composition and behaviour and also working with the teams responsible for maintaining and evaluating the modified mosquitoes in the insectaries to see how their behaviours compare.
We also have teams of expert modellers, who are helping us think through population dynamics and how, if our research is successful, the technology may one day be deployed.
The scientific teams are based around the world, in Africa, Europe and North America.
The ‘Stakeholder Engagement’ teams
Stakeholder and local community support for our work is essential. Our teams are working to develop an innovative technology to reduce the number of malaria mosquitoes and therefore reduce the transmission of the disease but this can only work if those affected are supportive of our approach. Stakeholder engagement is a priority. We have teams working at various levels: with international and national stakeholders, working with the local communities in which the baseline fieldwork is taking place, with the communities around the insectary, and with local and national authorities. Our teams are committed to explain the project and its phases, answer questions and address any concerns that may arise.
The ‘Regulatory Affairs’ team
At each step of the way, we are committed to abide by international guidelines and comply with national legislation in all the countries involved and to observe best practices. We have a regulatory affairs advisory team that helps us understand what the requirements in each country are and what information we need to provide.
The ‘Project Management’ team
Project management is not a small part of our effort. We have project managers in all the major teams and they are focused on keeping the work on track and aligned with the big picture. They are the bridge between the different expert groups and have key delivery and financial management responsibilities. They also oversee reporting to our funders.
The project is aided by a range of consultants with expertise in risk, regulatory, statistics, patent law, and communications.
Ethics Advisory Committee
Target Malaria established an Ethics Advisory Committee in June 2015 to advise the project on non-scientific issues related to the development of its technology. These non-scientific aspects include stakeholder engagement, regulatory process, environmental considerations and general ethical issues related to our research.
The committee serves in an advisory capacity, to offer external, independent advice and recommendations. All the members serve in their individual expert capacity. Current members of the committee are:
Claire joined BAE Systems in January 2014 as Group Communications Director and is a member of the BAE Systems plc Executive Committee.
Before joining BAE Systems, Claire was General Manager – Group Corporate Affairs for Xstrata plc where she was responsible for the global communications of the multinational diversified mining group, including throughout the merger with Glencore International which completed in 2013. She joined Xstrata in 2004 and was also a Board member of Xstrata Nickel, one of Xstrata’s five global commodity business units.
Dr. Fred Gould
Fred Gould graduated from Queens College in New York City in 1971 with a BS in Biology. In 1977, he received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with his thesis examining rapid host range evolution in a crop pest. Dr. Gould was then awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to examine the relationship between insect adaptation to natural plant defenses and insecticides. He was hired as an insect ecologist at North Carolina State University in 1979 and is now a Distinguished University Professor in the Entomology Department and Co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center.
Dr. Gould assisted in the development and deployment of insecticidal transgenic crops in ways that suppress the evolution of pest resistance. He is now focused on the potential for engineering insect pests to suppress disease and crop loss, and to protect species that are in danger of extinction. Dr. Gould has served on a number of US NAS-National Research Council and EPA committees addressing regulation of genetic technologies in agriculture and is currently chairing the NAS-NRC study “Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects.” Dr. Gould received the Alexander von Humboldt award for most significant agricultural research over a five-year period, the Sigma Xi George Bugliarello Prize for written communication of science, and the O. Max Gardner Award for the University of North Carolina faculty member with the greatest contribution to human welfare. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2011 and serves on the National Research Council Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Dr. Rashmi L Narayana
Rashmi currently works as Clinical Director at uMotif digital health. She trained as a Psychiatrist before moving on to working as programme lead for Disaster Mental Programme with the American Red Cross. After completing a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine she worked in academia at UCL and King’s College, London. Her last job was with Effective Intervention at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She coordinated two large-scale community based Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) in neonatal health and primary education.
While completing her MBA at Imperial College Business School, London she worked with designers and aspiring entrepreneurs at the Royal College of Art, London to bring products to market and joined umotif. She has just completed a RCT assessing adherence using digital health tools in Parkinson’s and is part of teams running two Real World observational studies in Parkinson’s and Arthritis.
Dr. Paul Ndebele
Paul Ndebele holds a PhD in Research Ethics obtained from University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. He is currently serving as Director of the Medical Research Council Zimbabwe (MRCZ) and has prior appointments as Bioethics Contractor at the Division of AIDS, US National Institutes of Health; Assistant Director of Research Ethics, Office of Research and Development, University of Botswana; Deputy Director for Centre of Bioethics at College of Medicine, University of Malawi; and Assistant Visiting professor at Michigan State University. He has served as visiting scholar in various Bioethics Programmes including the Fogarty African Bioethics Programme at Johns Hopkins University; SARETI at UKZN; the Erasmus Mundus Bioethics Programme at Padova University (Italy); and Ethox Centre at Oxford University. He holds various other positions including Adjunct Professor at Africa University; Honorary Lecturer at College of Medicine, University of Malawi; Adjunct instructor at Michigan State University and Consultant Advisor at College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. He has written more than 40 publications in the area of Research Ethics and is mainly interested in issues of justice in international health research.
Dr. Allan R. Ronald
Allan Ronald graduated in 1961 from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine. He then completed three years at the University of Maryland qualifying as a physician in Internal Medicine and three years at the University of Washington completing training and acquiring research experience in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology. He returned to Winnipeg where he established an Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology 2-3 year fellowship programs. About 140 physicians have graduated from this program.
Allan’s research focused on urinary infection and sexually transmitted illnesses (STI’s). In 1979 he was invited by WHO to partner with the University of Nairobi in an effort to understand and control STI’s particularly chancroid. During the 1980’s the HIV virus was first identified and rapidly spread in Kenya. The epidemiology of heterosexual HIV was investigated by the team of Manitoba scientists and a number of effective containment measures were identified and implemented. In 2000 with Ugandan colleagues, a program was begun in Uganda to train African scientists in AIDS/HIV care with particular emphasis on antiretroviral treatment and HIV research capacity was built.
Allan served as the Head of Medical Microbiology for nine years and Head of Internal Medicine for five years at the University of Manitoba. He also been chosen for terms as President of the International Society for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the International Society of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Paulina Tindana
Dr. Paulina Tindana is a trained Bioethicist and a Senior Research Fellow at the Navrongo Health Research Centre. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ghana in 1999, Master of Health Sciences (Bioethics) degree from the University of Toronto, Canada in 2004 and a DPhil at the Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, UK in 2013.
Her main research interests lie in understanding the ethical dimensions of international collaborative research, particularly the practical ethical issues arising in genetic/genomic research, informed consent, ethics review, community engagement strategies in global health research and health systems research ethics.
Dr. Tindana has served on a number of international committees and advisory boards including the Oxford Tropical Research Ethics Committee (OXTREC), H3Africa Ethics and Regulatory Working Group or UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (IBC). She has over 20 publications in peer reviewed journals and chapter in books.
Dominic White, based in the UK, is Head of International Development Policy in WWF-UK with 25 years international experience in community and natural resource management across a range of countries in Africa, Asia and Central America and across a range of policy issues including international sustainable development, natural resource scarcity and climate change.
Dominic’s core skills are in strategy, team leadership, policy development, project management, and stakeholder engagement. He co-chair of UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development and a Board member of Street Child Africa and Chance for Childhood.
Laurie Zoloth, Ph.D.
Professor Laurie Zoloth is the Dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, beginning in July 2017. She has a long and distinguished career as a bioethicist, scholar of religion, and of Jewish ethics, writing or editing 7 books, and over 300 articles.
She was elected both as President of the American Academy of Religion and as President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. She was elected to the National Recombinant DNA Advisory Board in 2012. She served for two terms as member of the NASA National Advisory Board and NASA’s International Planetary Protection Advisory Committee, receiving NASA’s Distinguished Service Award. She has also been on the founding national boards of the Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the International Society for Stem Cell Research, and The Society for Scriptural Reasoning, She served as a member of four NIH DSMBs including on the Asia Aids Clinical Trials. She was the first chair of the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute’s Bioethics Advisory Board. In 2005 she was honored as the Graduate Theological Union’s alumna of the year, and she has received distinguished teaching awards at Northwestern University and San Francisco State University.