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. We cannot win the fight against malaria alone and our aim is for the technology to be complementary to current malaria efforts. Our vision is a world free of malaria. 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. Target Malaria started as 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 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 and DARPA. Read our full Mission, Vision, Values Statement.

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

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 and Communications Team

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.

Effective communication is essential to the success of this project. As our teams work with complicated issues, communication is key in ensuring stakeholders and local communities understand our work and process. Our communications teams work with our Science teams, Stakeholder Engagement teams, regulatory affairs team and Project Management team to ensure accurate and coherent information is shared with different audiences to answer their questions and address their concerns.

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.