Alessia is a PhD student at the Burnet Institute and the University of Melbourne working with the Beeson group on developing novel malaria vaccines under the supervision of Prof James Beeson, Dr Liriye Kurtovic, and Dr Herbert Opi. Her PhD project primarily focuses on the current, leading pre-erythrocytic stage vaccine RTS,S which confers modest efficacy (~30-50%). Alessia is determining the specific conserved, variable, and polymorphic epitopes within the vaccine antigen (circumsporozoite protein) responsible for mediating highly protective RTS,S-induced antibody responses. Additionally, she investigates how the presence of diverse P. falciparum strains circulating in malaria-endemic regions impacts RTS,S efficacy. Through this work, Alessia seeks to inform the development of highly protective next-generation P. falciparum vaccines.