Professor Matt Higgins and Group at Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Professor Matt Higgins and Group at Royal Society Summer Exhibition
Human mosquito 'infects' visitors with malaria


The Higgins Group at the Royal Society 3rd July 2018

The Higgins Group at the Royal Society 3rd July 2018

The Higgins group are at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition (Stand 7) this week, talking to the visitors about using structural biology to assist in malaria vaccine development.

An attendant mosquito (one of the group with a mask on!) ‘infected’  the visitors with malaria by giving them a sticker saying ‘You have been bitten’ and they could go to the stand to learn how to be cured.

If you were not able to come to one of their exhibitions check out the cartoon created by the Matt Higgins group by clicking on the link below or play the games they created showing the effects of antibodies on parasites and vaccines on the spread of malaria:

See if you can kill the parasites by firing antibodies at them. Click on the link below to trigger the game and then play by clicking on one of the six different antibodies before clicking on the syringe to fire them at the parasites. If you are an antibody killing 'pro' you can get them all in one!!

Or why not see how you would deploy a budget to prevent malaria across a mythical island? The people coloured red have malaria. By deploying your gold dubloons on different treatments, you can see how many you can save. Supercharge the vaccine to convert it from the best currently available to the highly effective vaccine we are working to development. Choose specific quadrants of the map to focus your efforts on high or low transmission and high and low population areas. How many lives can you save?

About the Matt Higgins group

The Matt Higgins group are researchers fascinated by the tricks that parasites use as they interact with their human hosts. They understand in molecular detail the interactions that parasite surface molecules make during events such as host cell invasion or nutrient acquisition. They study how these molecules hide from the immune system and how they manipulate human immunity. These insights guide the design of improved therapeutic agents, including vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.

Under 'who we are' you can meet their current and past members of the lab. 'Our discoveries' highlights some of the mysteries that they have uncovered, while 'Parasite stories' contains some longer reads on themes which have kept them busy for a while.

None of this would be possible without their funders, and most of the discoveries described here were made with support from the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.

Find out more


Elspeth Garman
5th July 2018