Dr Michelle J Boyle

Honorary fellow


PhD, The University of Melbourne, 2012; Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Melbourne, 2007

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Associate Supervisor for PhD


Darwin – Royal Darwin Hospital


Michelle completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, with Prof James Beeson in 2012 with a focus on developing methods to study Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite invasion of red blood cells. These studies included investigating mechanisms and inhibitors of invasion with a focus on progress towards vaccine and drug development. Michelle received a Premiers Award for Health and Medical Research, commendee award for these studies in 2013.

Following her PhD, Michelle was awarded a NHMRC Early Career Development, CJ Martin Award and completed a two-year post-doctoral position at University of California, San Francisco. With a focus on cellular immune responses in naturally exposed populations, her work identified a number of age- and malaria exposure- dependent changes to T cells that contribute to naturally acquired immunity. In 2015, she received the Australian National Associations of Research Fellows - Postdoctoral Investigator Award.

Michelle has now returned to Australia and is an honorary fellow at Menzies School of Health Research as well as a research officer at the Burnet Institute. She is working on collaborative projects between the two institutes to identify mechanisms contributing to the acquisition of immunity against multiple malaria species in the South East Asia region.

Research Themes
  • Induction and maintainence of antibodies targeting P. vivax malaria
  • The role of IgM in protective immunity against malaria
  • T-follicular helper cells in the induction of functional anti-malarial antibodies
  • P. vivax and P. knowlesi cross-species protective immunity
  1. Boyle, M. J., Reiling, L., Feng, G., Langer, C., Osier, F. H., Aspeling-Jones, H., et al. (2015). Human antibodies fix complement to inhibit Plasmodium falciparum invasion of erythrocytes and are associated with protection against malaria. Immunity, 42(3), 580–590. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2015.02.012
  2. Boyle, M. J., Jagannathan, P., Bowen, K., McIntyre, T. I., Vance, H. M., Farrington, L. A., et al. (2015). Effector Phenotype of Plasmodium falciparum-Specific CD4+ T Cells Is Influenced by Both Age and Transmission Intensity in Naturally Exposed Populations. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212(3), 416–425. http://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiv054
  3. Boyle, M. J., Jagannathan, P., Farrington, L. A., Eccles-James, I., Wamala, S., McIntyre, T. I., et al. (2015). Decline of FoxP3+ Regulatory CD4 T Cells in Peripheral Blood of Children Heavily Exposed to Malaria. PLoS Pathogens, 11(7), e1005041. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005041
  4. Farrington, L. A., Jagannathan, P., McIntyre, T. I., Vance, H. M., Bowen, K., Boyle, M. J., et al. (2015). Frequent Malaria Drives Progressive Vδ2 T-Cell Loss, Dysfunction, and CD16 Up-regulation During Early Childhood. Journal of Infectious Diseases. http://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiv600
  5. Boyle, M. J., Wilson, D. W., & Beeson, J. G. (2013). New approaches to studying Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion and insights into invasion biology. International Journal for Parasitology, 43(1), 1–10. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.11.002
  6. Boyle, M. J., Wilson, D. W., Richards, J. S., Riglar, D. T., Tetteh, K. K. A., Conway, D. J., et al. (2010). Isolation of viable Plasmodium falciparum merozoites to define erythrocyte invasion events and advance vaccine and drug development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14378–14383. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1009198107
  7. Boyle, M. J., Richards, J. S., Gilson, P. R., Chai, W., & Beeson, J. G. (2010). Interactions with heparin-like molecules during erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum merozoites. Blood, 115(22), 4559–4568. http://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-09-243725