Dr Sarah Auburn

Malaria senior research fellow


PhD, University of Oxford, 2007; Bachelor of Science (Honours), University College London, 2003.

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Associate Supervisor for PhD


Darwin - Royal Darwin Hospital campus


Sarah’s research expertise is in the genetic and genomic epidemiology of malaria. Her current research focus entails utilising information on the genetic make-up of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax to gain insights into the biological mechanisms underlying antimalarial drug resistance, and to monitor the parasite’s transmission dynamics within and across borders.

Ultimately, her goal is to utilise this information to develop global maps of drug resistance and transmission, highlighting major hotspots and key routes of spread, to guide more efficient strategies to control and eliminate malaria.

As a research support officer in the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN), a key component of Sarah’s work is to provide capacity building support to researchers in malaria endemic countries. Mediated by this role, Sarah has established collaborations with researchers from a range of countries enabling the development of a network to support global P. vivax genetic epidemiology studies.

In collaboration with partners at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Sarah is also involved in genomic studies to identify subsets of genetic variants (barcodes) for mapping P. vivax drug resistance and transmission.

Research Themes
  • Investigating the molecular basis of multidrug resistant Plasmodium
  • Mapping P. vivax transmission dynamics.
  1. Noviyanti, R., Coutrier, F., Utami, R.A., Trimarsanto H, Tirta YK, Trianty L et al. (2015). Contrasting Transmission Dynamics of Co-endemic Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum: Implications for Malaria Control and Elimination. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(5): e0003739.
  2. Liu, Y., Auburn, S., Cao, J., Trimarsanto, H., Zhou, H., Gray, K.A., et al. (2014). Genetic Diversity and population structure of Plasmodium vivax in Central China. Malaria Journal, 13: 262.
  3. Abdullah, N.R,. Barber, B.E., William, T., Norahmad, N.A., Satsu, U.R., Muniandy, P.K., et al. (2013). Plasmodium vivax population structure and transmission dynamics in Sabah Malaysia. PLoS One, 8(12): e82553.
  4. Auburn, S., Marfurt, J., Maslen, G., Campino, S., Ruano Rubio, V., Manske, M., et al. (2013).  Effective preparation of Plasmodium vivax field isolates for high-throughput whole genome sequencing. PLoS One, 8(1): e53160.
  5. Manske, M., Miotto, O., Campino, S., Auburn, S., Almagro-Garcia, J., Maslen, G., et al. (2012). Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing. Nature, 487(7407): 375-379.
  6. Auburn, S., Campino, S., Miotto, O., Djimde, A.A., Zongo, I., Manske, M., et al. (2012). Characterization of within-host Plasmodium falciparum diversity using next-generation sequence data. PLoS One, 7(2): e32891.
  7. Campino, S., Auburn, S., Kivinen, K., Zongo, I., Ouedraogo, J.B., Mangano, V., et al. (2011). Population genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum parasites using a customized Illumina GoldenGate genotyping assay. PLoS One, 6(6): e20251.
  8. Auburn, S., Campino, S., Clark, T.G., Djimde, A.A., Zongo, I., Pinches, R., et al. (2011). An effective method to purify Plasmodium falciparum DNA directly from clinical blood samples for whole genome high-throughput sequencing. PLoS One, 6(7): e22213.
  9. Jallow, M., Teo, Y.Y., Small, K.S., Rockett, K.A., Deloukas, P., Clark, T.G. et al. (2009). Genome-wide and fine-resolution association analysis of malaria in West Africa. Nature Genetics, 41(6): 657-665.
  10. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network. (2008). A global network for investigating the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Nature, 456(7223): 732-737.
  1. New Australian-led malaria research powerhouse gears up to hunt down malaria across the Asia-Pacific

    New Australian-led malaria research powerhouse gears up to hunt down malaria across the Asia-Pacific


    Australia will take a leadership role in the Asia-Pacific region in a new initiative to help our nearest neighbours rid the scourge of malaria, in a new National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination.

  2. NT News | Brains Trust Born

    NT News | Brains Trust Born


    Researchers at Darwin's Menzies School of Health Research will play a key role in a new push to fight the scourge of malaria in the Asia-Pacific region.