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Balbir Singh

University Malaysia Sarawak

Professor Balbir Singh is currently the director of the Malaria Research Centre, Universiti Malyaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). He obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Liverpool (1976-1984). He worked as a Postdoctoral Research assistant on sequestration in falciparum malaria and as a Beit Medical Fellow at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (1984-1991) on molecular aspects on malaria. He continued using molecular tools to study antimalarial drug resistance and epidemiology of malaria at Universiti Sains Malaysia and after he moved to UNIMAS in 1999. A landmark discovery by his research team in 2004 was of a large focus of human infections in Malaysian Borneo with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite. They have subsequently made several key discoveries which have demonstrated that knowlesi malaria is a significant, life-threatening zoonotic disease in Southeast Asia, caused by at least 3 sub populations of P. knowlesi. His research has been funded by local and international funding agencies, including the Wellcome Trust, and he has served twice as an advisor to the WHO.