Molecular Epidemiology of Malaria

Malaria remains a thread to half of the world’s population. Asymptomatic infections, and infections below the limit of detection of diagnostics used in field hospitals, pose major challenges to malaria control. We apply sensitive molecular diagnostics and explore the vast genetic diversity of the parasite to understand where such infections occur, to investigate routes of transmission, and to select the best diagnostic methods in the field.

Research Focus

  • Epidemiology

    At the EIGH, our researchers use epidemiology to understand the distribution and determinants of the health and disease conditions in specific populations, and to identify risk factors for certain diseases. This allows them to develop, implement, and measure the impact of targeted, preventative healthcare methods. 

  • Genetics and Genomics

    One way to study certain diseases is through genetics - the study of heredity and the variation of individual inherited genes in an organism. At the EIGH, this means studying how organisms can inherit and spread certain diseases. Additionally, by analyzing the entire structure, function, and evolution of an organism's genes, researchers may identify ways to prevent a disease from genetically passing disease traits.

  • Infectious Diseases

    At the EIGH, our researchers work to combat a number of various illnesses, including infectious diseases caused by organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These diseases can also be spread from one person to another and may be transmitted from animals to humans. 

  • Molecular Biology and Microbiology

    Researchers at the EIGH use microbiology, which encompasses the study of an entire microorganism, and molecular biology, or the interactivity between molecules within a cell of an organism, to better understand disease and improve global health. 

Who’s Involved

EIGH Faculty

Global Partners

  • Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research


Additional Information



Koepfli, C., Ome-Kaius, M., Jally, S., Malau, E., Maripal, S., Ginny, J., Timinao, L., Kattenberg, J.H., Obadia, T., White, M., Rarau, P., Senn, N., Barry, A.E., Kazura, J.W., Mueller, I., & Robinson, L.J. Sustained Malaria Control Over an 8-Year Period in Papua New Guinea: The Challenge of Low-Density Asymptomatic Plasmodium Infections.


Kittichai, V., Koepfli, C., Nguitragool, W., Sattabongkot, J., & Cui, L. Substantial population structure of Plasmodium vivax in Thailand facilitates identification of the sources of residual transmission.




Other Research in Ethiopia