Joining the Malaria Technical Expert Collective 

Posted 30th May 2024 by Dr Federica Bernadini

I was recently invited to join the Malaria Technical Expert Collective (MTEC), a newly established group derived from Malaria No More UK. MTEC aims to bring together researchers, policymakers and health advocates who share the goal of working to end malaria.  

We are all contributing to the fight against malaria, and I will use this platform to share new developments in my area of expertise: vector control, and more specifically, the genetic modification of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Trends show that malaria parasites are developing resistance to antimalarial drugs, and therefore, innovative approaches to malaria elimination are needed. My research aims to reduce malaria transmission by using gene editing technology to reduce the population of malaria mosquitoes, in particular by targeting their reproductive genes; by effect stop the transmission of the disease.  

Malaria No More UK set-up MTEC because they believed that scientists working on the fight against malaria could be the best advocates for greater action from leaders and policymakers. As a collective, we aim to engage politicians by providing expert guidance through parliamentary briefings and government submissions that are grounded in evidence and highlight the latest research from our different approaches to malaria elimination. We share new developments through a range of events and hold each other accountable by reviewing each differing approach to malaria research. 

Malaria No More UK recently held an event on the streets of Notting Hill, and I joined them for a morning, talking to members of the public and local parliamentary candidates about the important work being done by scientists at Imperial College London and across the country in the fight against malaria. I look forward to future opportunities to engage with this advocacy work in the same way through MTEC and Malaria No More UK. 

MTEC members have already contributed to noteworthy reports from Malaria No More UK, examining the impact that malaria has on women in malaria-endemic countries, and detailing some of the research that takes place at Imperial College London and other institutions in the UK. I look forward to contributing my experiences and findings from my work with Target Malaria to support future reports and briefings. 

I see this as an opportunity to stand as a united front with experts in other areas of malaria research, acting as advocates on behalf of our common cause.  I am glad to be here at the beginning of this collective that is taking form in my field, and I cannot wait to see how it grows and empowers us to stand stronger in the fight against malaria. 

For more information on the UK advocacy work of Malaria No More UK, please visit the Zero Malaria Britain website and social media page. #ZeroMalaria