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.