Mobile Malaria Project embarks on a live-saving journey of Discovery
Jaguar Land Rover
Land Rover is supporting the Mobile Malaria Project on its eight-week expedition of Africa to better understand how DNA sequencing technology can be used in different locations.
Tackling the journey in a specially-modified Land Rover
Discovery, the team of three Oxford University researchers led by Dr George
Busby will travel more than 6,300km across Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya
to investigate the challenges facing those on the front line of malaria
The winner of the 2018 Land Rover Busary, in partnership
with the Royal Geographical Society, aims to help improve research in the
region by trialling portable DNA sequencing technology to better understand how
it can be used in different environments. This equipment will analyse the population
of malaria parasites and mosquitoes, and how resistant they are to insecticides
Dr Busby, Mobile Malaria Project Expedition Leader, said
although the rates have halved over the last 20 years, the battle against the disease
is ongoing, adding:
“By working with colleagues in Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and
Kenya, our journey will help us to understand the challenges facing malaria
researchers in Africa in 2019.
“Being able to reach places we wouldn’t have been able to
reach previously, will allow us to gain a better understanding of how this
technology could be used to answer locally relevant questions about malaria
parasites and the mosquitoes that transmit them.”
The Discovery modified by Land Rover Special Vehicle
Operations has been designed to transport all the research and laboratory
equipment the team needs over the expedition.
The mobile genetic sequencing equipment makes use of the
Discovery’s boot space, and contains a fridge-freezer unit to safely store
scientific supplies, a bespoke load space configuration system, specially
designed equipment cases and an on-board expedition battery.
The exterior has been given a purpose-built dual sun awning,
rescue equipment, a winch, sand and mud tracks, an expedition roof rack and
additional exterior LED lighting.
Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Medical Officer,
said: “Malaria is a global issue which impacts millions of people worldwide. At
Jaguar Land Rover we are passionate about using our technology to empower
talent and enable experts in their field to make a real difference in our
“Through the bespoke technology developed by our Special
Vehicle Operations team, this project has the potential to deliver a real
insight into malaria control globally and I proud that Land Rover can be a part
of that journey.”