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Our Team

MIST will be led and coordinated by an executive trial management team. The team includes the three co-Principal Investigators (PIs), site PIs, a programme manager, and Controlled Human Malaria Infection study experts. Research will be overseen by a Programme Steering Committee (PSC) led by an independent chair and the Dean of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri

Co-Principal Investigator

As the Director of the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit (MVRU), Dr Jetsumon Prachumsri leads a research team of 30 staff including scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research technologists. She has a wide range of international collaborations, including with the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Australia; Pennsylvania State University, USA; and Osaka University, Japan. Dr Prachumsri's primary research area is the biology and transmission of P. vivax. This includes studies of the mosquito vectors, establishing in vitro / ex vivo systems, and conducting research to support the development of new drugs and vaccines.

Prof. Nick Day

Co-Principal Investigator

Nick Day is a Professor of Tropical Medicine, a malariologist, and the Director of the Mahidol- Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Thailand. He also directs the Wellcome Trust’s Thailand, Africa, and Asia Programmes. Professor Day's interests include the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, pathogen biology, treatment and prevention of malaria, rickettsial diseases including scrub typhus, melioidosis, leptospirosis, influenza, dengue and other communicable diseases afflicting rural populations throughout Asia and beyond. Cross-cutting interests include the drivers and epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the syndromic management of febrile illnesses and sepsis in LMIC settings.

Prof. Philip Bejon

Co-Principal Investigator

Philip Bejon is a Professor of Tropical Medicine and the Director of the Wellcome-KEMRI- Oxford Collaborative Research Programme, Kenya. He is interested in the evaluation of malaria vaccines in the field and in determining the impact of heterogeneity of malaria transmission on vaccine efficacy, in examining correlates of protection, and the duration of efficacy. Other epidemiological interests include validating definitions of severe malaria, studies of naturally acquired immunity to malaria, bone infection and osteomyelitis, and, more recently, spatial epidemiology.


Sasithon Pukrittayakamee is a Professor at the Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University. Her fields of expertise include tropical infectious diseases, malaria infection, anti-malarial drugs and malaria-transmission blocking.

Dr. Podjanee Jittamala

Site-Principal Investigator

Dr Podjanee Jittamala is an Infectious Pediatrician and lecturer at the Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University. She works as research physician at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU). Dr Podjanee's research expertise includes malaria epidemiology and conducting clinical trials to evaluate malaria treatment and elimination strategies in the region.

Dr Borimas Hanboonkunupakarn is a research physician and lecturer at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University. She works in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and teaches students from the DTM&H, MSc and PhD courses at the Bangkok School of Tropical Medicine. Dr Borimas specializes in malaria and dengue and has served as principal investigator on numerous malaria projects.

Dr. Melissa Kapulu


Dr Melissa Kapulu is a researcher at Wellcome-KEMRI-Oxford Collaborative Research Programme, Kenya, working on assessing the infectious reservoir of malaria. Her research targets the immunological aspects of malaria transmission with the aim of identifying and developing vaccine candidate targets.

Professor Faith Osier


Faith Osier is a Professor of Malaria Immunology at the Nuffield Dept of Medicine, Oxford University, where she holds the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander Humboldt Foundation as well as a Senior Fellowship with the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). She has won multiple international prizes for her research in understanding the mechanisms of immunity against P. Falciparum. In 2014, she won the Royal Society Pfizer Prize, UK. She is a 2018 TED Fellow.

Associate Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah

Ethics, Social Science Study and Public Engagement Lead

Dr. Phaik Yeong Cheah is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. She is currently based in Bangkok where she oversees the Department of Bioethics and Engagement at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU). The department conducts ethics training for researchers and develops independent location-based engagement programs and advisory boards in concert with community leaders. She previously headed the Clinical Trials Support Group within the Research Governance office in Oxford, where her responsibilities included advising, reviewing and approving research protocols, providing research ethics and Good Clinical Practice training for researchers, and monitoring and auditing clinical trials on behalf of the University.

Dr Pornsawan currently serves as the Director of the Tropical Medicine Diagnostic Reference Laboratory, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University where she works closely with other research organizations to develop improved diagnostic protocols. She specializes in the molecular and cell culture diagnosis of viral infections. Her work includes the examination of the pathogenesis, surveillance and characterization of common STDs in Thailand, such as HIV and HPV, as well as other infectious diseases in Thailand including enteric viruses, influenza, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika and zoonotic threats

Dr Kesinee Chotivanich is a Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University. Her background is in pathobiology with particular expertise in cell and tissue culture and the pharmacodynamics of antimalarial drugs. She has two main areas of research: the pathophysiology of malaria infections, and detection of anti-malarial resistance parasites. She has published over 100 publications, many of which are leading research achievements in the field of malaria studies, such as detection of artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum, and transmission-blocking activities of antimalarial drugs.

Kittiyod Poovorawan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University. Dr Kittiyod is a medical doctor with expertise in internal medicine, gastroenterology, hepatology and clinical research of tropical diseases. His primary research area is liver diseases including viral hepatitis, liver abscess, chronic liver diseases and gastrointestinal involvement of tropical diseases. He is experienced in conducting clinical trials focusing on viral hepatitis and tropical infectious diseases

Dr. Wanlapa Roobsoong


Dr Wanlapa Roobsoong is a scientist at the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit (MVRU), Mahidol University, where she leads the Cell Biology and G6PD teams. She has a broad background in medical technology and malaria biology, especially Plasmodium vivax, with specific training on proteome analysis, in vitro culture of malaria parasites, image analysis of parasites by high-resolution fluorescence microscopy, membrane feeding and flow cytometry analysis. Her research is focused on the molecular mechanism of gametocytogenesis and hypnozoite formation of P. vivax with an emphasis on discovering new antimalaria drugs and vaccines

Dr. Wang Nguitragool is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular Tropical Medicine and Genetics, Mahidol University. He also leads a molecular diagnosis team for epidemiological studies of P. vivax at the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit (MVRU). His current research aims to understand malaria parasite biology and mosquito infectivity, as well as to better understand how P. vivax invades reticulocytes and how to block this essential step in the parasite life cycle.

Dr. Jiraporn Ruangsittichai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Entomology at Mahidol University. She has a B.Sc. in Medical Technology and Ph.D. in Biology, both from Mahidol University. She teaches students in M.Sc. and Ph.D. courses at the Bangkok School of Tropical Medicine. Her research focuses on the molecular identification of arthropods using DNA barcoding.

Dr. Pongphaya Pongsuwan

Project manager

Dr Pongphaya Pongsuwan is a Programme Manager at Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit for MIST. For the past 29 years, she has been working in private, academic and NGO health organizations, and is experienced in areas including project & operation management, research management, partnership management, and team building/start-up. Her areas of specialization include clinical and operational research, project development and implementation, training and monitoring, regulatory affairs and public health guideline implementation across Asia.

Ms. Sureeporn Thongkuna

MVRU Project Coordinator

Ms Sureeporn Thongkuna is a project manager at the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit (MVRU), Mahidol University. She has experience in managing and coordinating the efforts of cross-functional project teams, as well as allocating workloads and providing educational services to support milestone achievement.

Ms Natinee Kulpijit

Communications and Public Relations Lead

Natinee is the Senior Public Relations and Communications Manager at Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU). She has more than 18 years of experience in public relations and has developed media plans for multilateral agencies as well as crafted campaigns for corporate-social responsibility projects and social investment programmes on behalf of numerous multinational companies in Thailand.