Who We Are

Target Malaria is a not-for-profit research consortium that aims to develop and share new, cost-effective and sustainable genetic technologies to modify mosquitoes and reduce malaria transmission.

Target Malaria started as a university-based research programme and has grown to include scientists, stakeholder engagement teams, regulatory affairs experts, project management teams, risk assessment specialists and communications professionals from Africa, North America and Europe. Target Malaria receives core funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from Open Philanthropy. Individual labs also received additional funding from a variety of sources to support each lab’s work, including but not limited to : the Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs-DEFRA (UK), the European Commission, the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (UK), the National Institutes of Health-NIH (USA), the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology-UNCST, Ugandan Ministry of Health, the Wellcome Trust (UK), and the World Bank.

Target Malaria’s vision is a world free of malaria.

We cannot win the fight against malaria alone and our aim is for the technology to be complementary to current malaria efforts. We aim to achieve excellence in all areas of our work, creating a path for responsible research and development of genetic technologies. We are co-developing both our technologies and the associated knowledge base as well as ensuring our work is evidence-driven so we can deliver safe and effective technologies to those who need it. We are committed to be open and accountable in our work, relationships and decisions.

As a grantee from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Target Malaria follows the Global Access pledge. It means: (a) knowledge and information gained from the Project is promptly and broadly disseminated; and (b) the Funded Developments will be made available and accessible at an affordable price to people most in need within developing countries. Target Malaria also follows the Foundation’s Open Access Policy that enables the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.

Our teams are organised around ‘functions’, often working across multiple locations. Learn about the functions of our teams below:

The scientific teams bring together experts from a variety of different disciplines including; molecular biology, population genetics, entomology, and modelling.

Our molecular biology teams are focused on developing the initial stages of the technology, looking at how the modifications can best be built and most efficiently inserted in the malaria mosquito genes. The entomologists and population geneticists are studying local mosquito populations, to understand their composition and behaviour and are 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 implemented.

The scientific teams are based around the world, in Africa, Europe and North America.

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, it is one of our three essential pillars (Stakeholder Engagement – Regulatory Affairs– Science). We have expert teams of social scientists and stakeholder engagement practitioners working at various levels: local communities in the field and around the insectaries, local and national authorities, and international stakeholders.

The complex nature of our work means that effective communication is key to ensure stakeholders understand our work and process. Our communications team work with our science, stakeholder engagement, regulatory and project management teams to ensure accurate and coherent information is shared with different audiences to answer their questions and address their concerns.

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 team that helps us understand what the requirements in each country are and what information we need to provide.

Our Risk Team provides internal advice and reviews of risk throughout the project, liaises with external independent risk assessors, and supports the design and implementation of products and practices that meet international biosafety standards.

The Quality Assurance Team is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the Target Malaria Quality Management System (QMS). We exercise independent oversight to ensure the QMS is in full compliance with applicable laws, regulations and project standards. The QMS aims to provide sufficient control and assurance to management, foster a strong quality culture, improve the effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous basis and provides a coordinated, standardised and centralised way of working. Our team advises and supports all functions.

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.

7 institutions with close to 200 experts

  • CDC Foundation, USA
  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé – IRSS (Research Institute for Health Sciences, Burkina Faso)
  • Polo d’Innovazione di Genomica, Genetica e Biologia – PoloGGB, Italy
  • Uganda Virus Research Institute, Uganda
  • University of Ghana, Ghana
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre,  USA
  • International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya
  • Instituto Nacional da Saúde Pública – INSP, Programa nacional de controlo do paludismo (National Institute of Health, National Malaria Programme), Cabo Verde
  • Keele University, UK
  • Malaria Research & Training Center – MRTC, Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako (University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako), Mali
  • Pregenen, USA
  • Seattle Childrens Hospital, USA
  • Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • University of Washington, USA 
  • University of Notre Dame, USA