Laureate Fellowship for researcher striving to stop mosquito borne disease

July 17 / 195

Geoff McFadden
Geoff McFadden

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Geoff McFadden has been awarded a 2017 Australian Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC), a milestone achievement in research.

Professor McFadden is one of only 17 world-class researchers from around Australia to be awarded a five-year Laureate Fellowship, the most prestigious of all ARC awards granted each year.

His Laureate Fellowship project team will receive $3.2 million to explore sexual gene inheritance in Plasmodium, a representative of a large group of human and animal parasites, which must have a sexual exchange of genes in a mosquito for the transfer of disease to a new host. Mosquitos are the vector for transfer of several deadly diseases, including malaria, affecting people around the world.

The program is expected to advance Australia’s ability to understand the reproduction and survival of these parasites in their mosquito vector and develop cutting-edge genetic tools that will advance the microbial genetics discipline globally.

"This fantastic support from the ARC and the University of Melbourne will allow our team to tackle a fascinating and profound problem of how sex and gene inheritance work in an important microbe that causes major disease," Professor McFadden said.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor James McCluskey said that this award is excellent recognition of the University’s commitment to outstanding research with global impact.

“The University regards Professor McFadden’s award as an exceptional opportunity to enhance our capacity in an area of truly international significance. It will provide the platform for one of our most talented and energetic researchers to lead microbe genetics research into a new era with Australia at the frontline.

Professor McFadden joins an elite group of 14 current and past ARC Australian Laureate Fellows at the University of Melbourne, including our most recent additions in 2016, Professor Jon Woodhead (managing future climates), Kathleen Fitzpatrick Professor Adrienne Stone (diversity and social cohesion) and Professor Anthony Bebbington (mining in a changing society).

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