Overview

The Mobile Malaria Project is trans-African journey funded by the 2018 RGS Land Rover Bursary. The bursary provides us the loan of a brand new Land Rover Discovery to go on a challenging journey. There are two main aims to the project:
  1. To communicate the past success and future challenges of malaria control. The burden of malaria has halved in the last 20 years and the global community is aiming for complete elimination in the next 20 years. We will visit a variety of different researchers and organisations and learn about what’s worked in the past, the innovative strategies that are currently being trialled and try to understand what needs to be done in the future if we are to achieve the ambitious aim of elimination by 2040. We will disseminate what we learn in a variety of ways.
  2. To trial malaria nanopore sequencing in low resource settings with local project co-leads. During our journey we will work with research groups in Zambia and Kenya to develop and execute field research projects using nanopore sequencing technology. We will develop simple protocols to extract and sequence parasite and mosquito DNA using our Lab in a Land Rover and will work with local colleagues to trial these in the field.
Leaving the UK in March 2019, we will achieve these aims by:
  • Driving 6,300km coast to coast across sub-Saharan Africa through four malaria endemic countries with a range of malaria prevalence.
  • Using our Land Rover Discovery with advanced communication capabilities to document our experiences via articles and blog posts, our "Labroving" podcast, and images and film.
  • Carrying with us mobile genetic sequencing technology – no bigger than a mobile phone. With African partners we will attempt use the machines to sequence mosquitoes in remote field locations in Africa.
We are a team of geneticists and believe that DNA sequencing has the potential to be be used as a tool to provide useful information for malaria control, such as the drug or insecticide resistance status of parasite and mosquito populations. This expedition will allow us to visit malaria workers and researchers to understand the use case for this technology as well as the political and technological barriers to its implementation.

Team

The core team is based at the Big Data Institute at Oxford University. We will be working with collaborators along the route.
Dr George Busby
Dr George Busby

Senior Research Associate Oxford University and Expedition Leader

    Dr Isaac Ghinai
    Dr Isaac Ghinai

    Academic Clinical Fellow, Oxford University Hospitals and Expedition Medic

      Jason Hendry
      Jason Hendry

      DPhil Student Oxford University and Expedition Scientist

        Dr Eric Ochomo
        Dr Eric Ochomo

        Head of Entomology, KEMRI and Kenya Field Project Co-leader

          Latest posts

          Updates on our preparation and how we're getting on in the field.

          Goals

          Sharing knowledge. Local empowerment. Challenging journey

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          Big Data Institute Oxford University OX3 7LF | UK