My research is focused on understanding how humans acquire immunity to malaria, with the ultimate aim of translating this knowledge into effective malaria vaccines. My group studies responses to blood stage malaria parasite antigens in longitudinally monitored cohorts of children in Kenya, and more recently in multiple malaria-endemic African countries. Key findings from my work have been that the breadth and magnitude of key antibody responses to multiple parasite targets are strong correlates of acquired immunity to malaria, and that there are potentially many more antigens that contribute to immunity than previously thought.
My partner Julius has been incredibly supportive and is the hero behind my ability to combine family life with a career. This has probably been the most important factor. Although it was frustrating not being able to have children early, I was blessed to be able to have them later on, when I was a little more senior in my career and able to delegate tasks to group members and students. This also turned out to be an advantage as I could be sure work was getting done even if I was not able to be present on site.