Postdoctoral research fellow David Pattinson, has spent the past 10 years tackling malaria, a disease responsible for the deaths of nearly half a million people each year.

He is currently involved in a five-year, €20 million European Union collaborative project, OptiMalVax, which aims to develop a new, more effective multi-stage vaccine against  Plasmodium falciparum, which is the deadliest cause of malaria. At the AITHM labs in Cairns, he is now exploring novel falciparum liver-stage antigens as vaccine candidates for inclusion in the consortium’s clinical studies.

Following service in the Australian Army and Queensland Police Service, Dr Pattinson embarked on a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

He undertook an Honours research project with the University of Queensland; evaluating novel malaria antigens as vaccine candidates, at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. There he joined a research group headed by Professor Denise Doolan, who is now deputy director of AITHM.

Dr Pattinson stayed with QIMR to conduct his PhD study; an assessment of novel vaccine delivery platforms, including virus-like particles and bacterial minicells.

In 2015, his expertise in vaccine platforms and pre-clinical research led to his recruitment as an immunologist with Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, a world-leading vaccine development facility.

Dr Pattinson spent three years at the Institute, where he evaluated a serum albumin targeting molecule developed by GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK), as a potential sub-unit vaccine delivery platform.

As a member of Jenner’s blood stage malaria vaccine group, he also headed the pre-clinical trials exploring the use of the RH5 protein with various adjuvants and delivery protocols, to enhance antibody responses and offer protection from challenge.

In early 2018, he returned home to Australia, where he was quickly recruited by his former mentor, Professor Doolan, Professorial Research Fellow in Immunology of Infectious Diseases at AITHM – and a member of the OptiMalVax consortium.

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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Biomarker discovery and development for Malaria, TB and EBV-associated cancers (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Rational vaccine development for malaria from genomic sequence information (2020, PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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