In parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, a mosquito bite is more than just irritating — it can be potentially deadly. In 2015, almost half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. The worst cases can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma or death.

“I nearly died from malaria around 10 years ago,” Edgar says. “To be able to work in research that would in any small part reduce the malaria burden for the future generations of the Solomon Islands was attractive.”

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by parasites. The disease is most commonly transmitted when an infected mosquito bites a person, introducing the parasites from the mosquito’s saliva into a person’s blood. The parasites travel to the liver where they mature and reproduce.