Dr. Herbert Opi is a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Burnet Institute working in Prof. James Beeson’s group. Herbert obtained his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Alex Rowe (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Prof. Tom Williams (KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya). This work involved genetic epidemiology and parasitological studies examining the associations between host genetic red blood cell polymorphisms and the pathogenesis of severe malaria.
Herbert’s current work has centered on trying to understand the mechanisms of immunity and pathogenesis of malaria during pregnancy. Primarily, this work looks at the role antibodies and complement play in the natural protection against malaria in pregnancy. He has also worked on other studies examining the contribution of micronutrient deficiencies to poor pregnancy outcomes.
Within ACREME Herbert will be investigating the mechanisms of immunity to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria in East Africa and Papua New Guinea, with a particular focus on the role of functional antibodies on the pathogenesis and immunity to malaria, as well as using serology tools to understand malaria transmission and epidemiology.