Professor Draper leads the Blood-Stage Malaria Vaccine group, based at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford. His research interests include studies of vaccine-induced malaria immunity as well as the optimisation of antibody induction by vaccines against the blood-stage malaria parasite. In recent years, his group has developed novel vaccines targeting blood-stage proteins from the human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, and these have been translated into Phase I/IIa clinical trials.
The human malaria parasite continues to exert a huge burden on global public health, whilst the development of a highly efficacious vaccine has proved extremely challenging. The disease-causing blood-stage of the parasite’s life-cycle is known to be susceptible to antibodies. However, the field has faced significant hurdles in translating this knowledge into efficacious vaccine products. The work funded by the Lister Institute Research Prize will seek to identify new targets within the parasite that may prove to be more successful in inducing protective efficacy against malaria following human vaccination. The work will also assess the human antibody response to important malaria proteins, and this information can then be used to guide the rational design of new and improved vaccine candidates.