Research in our lab focuses on schistosomiasis and malaria infection and utilizes non-human primates as models of human diseases. We seek to understand in depth the interactions between the host and parasite by studying clinical, parasitological, physiological and immunological parameters in NHPs and how these relate to human disease.
We have developed the Olive baboon as a model to study schistosomiasis (Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium) and malaria (Plasmodium knowlesi, that closely mimics P. falciparum infection in humans) infection. The baboon has served as a preclinical model for the development, testing for efficacy, immunogenicity and toxicity of both drugs, vaccine candidates and diagnostic tools.
In endemic areas individuals harbor more than one parasite and this will lead to poor vaccine outcomes. To dissect and understand the various processes, our research team undertakes malaria and schistosomiasis co-infection studies and are also assessing the effect of helminth infections on vaccine efficacy.