Professor Faith Osier
Malaria is a big problem in Africa, but individuals who get repeatedly infected become resistant. As technology improves, we can measure more parameters and better understand how people become immune to malaria. A protein microarray can help us understand the immune response to malaria, paving the way for a vaccine.
As president of the International Union of Immunological Societies, Faith Osier oversees the FAIS Legacy Project that aims to train 1000 African immunologists over 10 years. Increased capacity and a strong African immunological community will be better prepared to deal with persistent problems and new threats.
Professor of Malaria Immunology
- Group Leader
- Biosciences Dept, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, KENYA
- Parasitology Dept, Heidelberg University Hospital, GERMANY
- Principal Investigator, SMART (South-South Malaria Antigen Research Partnership)
Faith is a 2018 TED Fellow. She has won multiple international prizes for her research in understanding the mechanisms of immunity against Plasmodium falciparum in man. She aims to translate this knowledge into highly effective vaccines against malaria. She is Visiting Professor of Malaria Immunology in the Nuffield Dept of Medicine, Oxford University, and holds the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander Humboldt Foundation as well as an EDCTP Senior Fellowship. In 2014, she won the Royal Society Pfizer Prize, UK. She holds major research grants from the Wellcome Trust and is an MRC/DfID African Research Leader.
Faith trained as a Paediatrician in Kenya, before specializing in Immunology in Liverpool, and later obtaining a PhD from the Open University, UK. Her interests include vaccine development, with an emphasis on malaria. Her research groups are based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Training Programme in Kilifi, Kenya and at the Heidelberg University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. She is passionate about capacity building and the training of African scientists to deliver the interventions needed on the continent.
The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago, yet each year hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative TED talk, Faith shows how she combines cutting-edge technology with century-old insights in the hopes of creating a new vaccine that would eradicate malaria once and for all.
Mwai K. et al, (2021), Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 19, 2518 - 2525
Osier FHA. and Murungi LM., (2021), Trends in Parasitology
Osier FHA. et al, (2020), Trends in immunology, 41, 1051 - 1053
Osier F. et al, (2020), Nature reviews. Immunology, 20, 594 - 602
Osier F. and Uzonna JE., (2020), Frontiers in Immunology, 11