Dr Timinao receives PhD through James Cook University

The Papua New Guinea Medical Research Institute has announced that Lincoln Timinao has been awarded his PhD through James Cook University, Australia.

Dr Timinao’s PhD thesis focuses on the transmission of malaria parasites from people to mosquitoes. To do so, he studied two groups: people who were infected and were sick (symptomatic) and people who were infected but were not sick (asymptomatic) to find out whether mosquitos fed on them and therefore transmitted malaria parasites.

As part of his research on symptomatic individuals, he successfully set up an experiment to artificially infect the mosquitoes that were reared in the lab with malaria parasites from blood taken from infected individuals.The mosquitoes are reared in the Insectary at Yagaum, Madang Province.

‘I have more success with infecting our mosquitoes with P. vivax malaria parasites. This species is one that is quite difficult to grow in the lab. To do experiments with them one needs to be at a place with access to infected individuals. Our lab is now in the position to collaborate with other labs to test potential transmission-blocking agents, be it vaccines or antimalarials compounds,’ he explained.

Dr Timinao found that asymptomatic individuals can potentially transmit malaria parasites to mosquitoes. This is important to be addressed since asymptomatic cases remain untreated as they are unaware that they carry the malaria parasite around with them and are still transmitting the parasite to others.

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement Dr Lincoln Timinao. Your perseverance and hard work has paid off!

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