Kliniken & Institute … Institute Zentrum für… Parasitology Unit Research Osier Lab

Malaria research: Osier

The Osier lab from left to right: Faith Osier (Group leader), Rokhaya Sané (intern, alumna), Fauzia Musasia (PhD student, alumna), Kennedy Wambui (exchange PhD student, alumnus), Dr. Irene Nkumama (former PhD student, now Postdoc), Nelson Kibinge (exchange PhD student, alumnus), Micha Rosenkranz (PhD student), Dennis Obonyo (PhD student), Kristin Fürle (Technician), Dr. Roland Frank (Project Manager)

Together let us make Malaria history!  

The research team around Faith Osier is focused on understanding how humans acquire immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria, knowledge that they aim to translate into highly effective vaccines.

Malaria is a major public health problem in sub-saharan Africa, leading to over 400,000 deaths each year, predominantly in young children. Reducing the burden caused by this disease is one of the millennium development goals. There is currently no licensed malaria vaccine. However, studies in areas where malaria is frequently experienced have shown that it is possible to acquire immunity. Passive transfer studies in humans showed that antibodies are an important component of acquired immunity.

Faith Osier and her research team are aiming to identify the parasite targets of these protective antibodies and understand their mechanisms of action.

The research programme has three broad themes:

  1. vaccine candidate discovery
  2. antibody correlates of protection
  3. mechanisms of immunity.

Further Activities of Faith and her Team

Malaria Must Die Campaign 2020

Faith is one of the champions in the British "malaria must die" campaign and helping to beat the disease within a generation.

Read her story and watch the interview!

Malaria Vaccine Initiative - Member of the Advisory Board Council

The Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Committee comprises eminent scientists and vaccinologists who provide strategic input to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI).

Medical Research Council (MRC) - Research Board and Panel Member

The Infection and Immunity board of the Medical Research Council, UK  reviews funding applications and advises on scientific strategy within its remit.

Wellcome Trust - Funding Advisory Committee Member

The Public Health and Tropical Medicine Interview Committee of the Wellcome Trust interviews candidates shortlisted for training and intermediate level fellowships.

TED Fellow 2018

In January 2018 Faith was selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world who delivered a talk on the TED stage in April 2018 in Vancouver. 

The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. Founded in 2009, the program has 453 Fellows from 96 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 178 million times. In its nine-year history, the program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond -- leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations. 

Faith Voted to Medicine Maker Power List 2018

The Medicine Maker, published by Texere Publishing, has released its 2018 Power List of the top one hundred most inspirational professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. The List, compiled based on nominations from readers of The Medicine Maker and an expert judging panel, is divided into four categories:  

  • Masters of the Bench (scientists and researchers whose late-night lab work lays the foundations for new therapeutics) 
  • Industry Influencers (experts who drive industry best practices and regulations, as well as new manufacturing techniques and technologies)  
  • Business Captains(business leaders and entrepreneurs that turn scientific ideas into marketable medicines)  
  • Champions of Change (inspirational individuals striving to make the world and the pharma industry a better place)   

Each category comprises 25 names, with the top 10 being ranked and Faith is among the “Champions of Change”.  

“Bringing new drugs to patients is an incredibly difficult task that involves numerous indispensable actors – from pioneering entrepreneurs and CEOs, to industry experts, to dedicated researchers, to regulators who keep everyone on the right tracks,” explains Stephanie Sutton, Editor of The Medicine Maker.


SMART (South-south Malaria Antigen Research ParTnership)

Faith leads the SMART (South-south Malaria Antigen Research ParTnership) network in which partners from African countries share samples and resources from longitudinal cohort studies of Malaria.

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SMART on YouTube - documentary featuring the innovations of African Scientists in the quest for new effective vaccines against malaria

Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards Ceremony in Berlin (15 Nov. 2016):

A total of seven young international researchers from abroad received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Sofja Kovalevskaja Award 2016, each of which comes with up to €1.65 million in funding. State Secretary Georg Schütte from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation, presented the awards at a special ceremony held in Berlin on 15 November.

With this award money, the seven researchers (among them Faith Osier) can conduct research free from administrative constraints at a German university or research institute of their choice for a period of up to five years and develop their own research group for this at their host institute. The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award is one of Germany's best-endowed research awards. It is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With this award, the young researchers receive risk capital during an extremely early phase in their careers to conduct innovative projects and, in the process, are given the opportunity to work independently and bear responsibility.

As host of Dr. Osier for the coming 5 years, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate her once more and to wish her every success here in lovely Heidelberg.

from left to right: F. Osier & M. Lanzer (Departmental Head, Parasitology Unit) picture: Humboldt Foundation / David Ausserhofer
F. Osier while giving her testimonial lecture picture: Humboldt Foundation / David Ausserhofer
from left to right: G. Schütte (State Secretary, BMBF), F. Osier (Awardee), Enno Aufderheide (Secretary General, Humboldt Foundation) picture: Humboldt Foundation / David Ausserhofer
group picture of all awardees (from left to right): W. Shepherd, F. Neri, S. Shoai, State Secretary G. Schütte, M. Ali, M. Heller, F. Osier, D. Egger, Secretary General E. Aufderheide picture: Humboldt Foundation / David Ausserhofer

Falling Walls Conference

(Berlin, 2019)

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Grand Challenges Spotlight Talk

(Addis Ababa, 2019)

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Beyond Sciences Initiative Conf.


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Falling Walls: Forum Interview

(Berlin, 2019)

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TED Conference

(Vancouver, 2018)

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How to get in touch:

Faith Hope Among’in Osier 

Centre for Infectious Diseases, Parasitology Unit
Heidelberg University Hospital 
Im Neuenheimer Feld 324 (labs in INF 345, ground floor)
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

+49 (0)6221 56-6518 (project manager) / - 4415 (lab)


As of 1 January 2021 Faith's main place of work is the Imperial College in London but she'll continue supervision of PhD students and research projects in Heidelberg until October 2021.

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