London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Retreat, MIM, Malaria Summit and World Malaria Day 2018

21 May 2018
With MIM, one of the biggest international malaria conferences, taking place, our own annual retreat, the Malaria Summit and World Malaria Day, April was a busy month for the Malaria Centre and the malaria research community. We spent time in Cambridge, London and Dakar, helping to share our expert knowledge, learn from each other, find new collaborations and enjoy an evening with the Senegalese singer, Youssou N'dour.


Malaria Centre retreat

We started the month with our annual retreat where we had presentations covering surveillance, treatment, identification of novel biomarkers, high-throughput sequencing, methods of resistance and more. We also included a turbo talk and poster session, which flanked our keynote lecture from Dr. Julian Rayner on 'Systematic experimental approaches to identifying and prioritising malaria targets'.

In a first for our retreat, we were pleased to invite members from Imperial College to attend and present on some of their great work. This was a fantastic opportunity to foster collaborations outside of LSHTM and we are excited to see what might develop! 

MIM 2018

The following week, the Centre settled in at MIM where we had many staff and students presenting in oral presentations, posters and symposiums. The Centre had a booth at the conference where many people came to speak to us about the research our members are involved with – some of who may be receiving our newsletter for the first time now; welcome!

We would like to say thank you to all the staff and students who helped staff the booth, and a special note of thanks to all those who helped us with transporting and setting up for the conference.


We are pleased to announce that two members of the Malaria Centre were awarded with The Brian Sharp Award for Young Investigators. Matthew Cairns received his award for his work in chemoprevention, on 'Monitoring the protective efficacy of seasonal malaria chemoprevention using case-control studies: methodology and results from 5 countries'. Catherine Pitt received her award for her work in social and health economics, on 'Large-scale delivery of seasonal malaria chemoprevention to children under 10 in Senegal: an economic analysis'. Congratulations to you both! Brian Greenwood also presented a plenary lecture at MIM, where he spoke about malaria and chemoprevention.

As part of the Centre's commitment to our members, we supported travel awards to help aid attendance at MIM, up to the value of £500. We are pleased to announce that we awarded travel awards to five Malaria Centre members: William Stone, Blandine Binachon, Khalid Beshir, Kristin Banek, and  Ernest DiezBenavente. Each of the award winners have written a blog about their experience at MIM; we will share William and Blandine's this month, and Khalid, Kristin and Ernest's in next month's newsletter issue – congratulations to our winners!

The meeting had numerous highlights, but it was particularly interesting to hear about the current status of transmission-blocking vaccine development from the leaders in the Field. Human trials with the most advanced candidates have been completed in Mali, and surprisingly the Pfs230 vaccine shows the highest immunogenicity – in contrast to earlier data from rodents. Read more from William Stone.

Three key current challenges were stressed: the resistance to pesticides (so far found in 60 countries); the emergence of the HRP2 deletion; and the drugs resistance (epicentre in the Greater Mekong sub region). There is a particular need for innovations for getting the hard to reach populations and areas (for instance through community services and integrated community management), for the involvement of the private sector and the preventive therapies. Read more from Blandine Binachon.



The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London presented the exceptional opportunity to review and re-energise the global initiative to eliminate malaria. Half of the world’s total burden of malaria is borne by citizens of the Commonwealth and 90% of us are at risk of malaria. Heads of State and Government of 14 malaria-endemic Commonwealth Countries pledged fresh commitment to malaria elimination at the Malaria Summit (see below for more information on the commitments).

Cally Roper was at CHOGM, and you can read more about the meeting here

Malaria Summit 
Commitments exceeded expectations by £200m. The Summit featured collective commitments worth over £2.9bn ($4.1bn) from governments, the private sector, philanthropists and International Organisations.
Specific commitments featured at the Malaria Summit London included:

  • High level political commitment towards malaria elimination.
  • Significant increase in investment from malaria endemic countries to leverage and complement donor funding
  • New innovative tools to overcome the growing threat of resistance. 
  • Improved methods to track the disease to enable more effective and efficient intervention and to prevent resurgence.

You can find a summary of the Summit here.

Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Special Envoy on Youth, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General, WHO, Bill Gates, Hon Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Rwanda, HRH The Prince of Wales, H.E. The Prime Minister of Swaziland Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Kingdom of Swaziland, HRH The Duke of York, KG, Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho Board Chair, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author and storyteller. Credit to Malaria No More.


In the build up to the Summit, aided by support from Malaria No More, work and members of the Malaria Centre were featured in articles in The Guardian, and Telegraph.

World Malaria Day

In a final push for messages on malaria research, the 25 April was World Malaria Day, where the Centre showcased a selection of our videos to demonstrate some of the work of our members. In the cafe in Keppel Street, we had a video from last year's World Mosquito Day, giving a snapshot of developments since Sir Ronald Ross discovered that the malaria parasite is transmitted by the mosquito, we also showed videos on the Monkeybar and ENSURE projects, and twin study.

Bug Off 2018 also started their “Freedom To Explore” theme. The campaign is fun and interactive, but it has a serious message, demonstrating why awareness of mosquito borne diseases matters to everyone - whether you live in a malaria endemic country or you’re simply a holiday maker. Bug Off want to encourage people to travel and see the world, but want to give them the power to do this safely.