Ashley Birkett, PhD, leads PATH’s efforts to develop and introduce safe and effective vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for the fight against malaria. This is achieved by identifying promising candidates, securing funding, establishing the partnerships needed to advance candidates through the development process, and maximizing access to successful interventions in the countries that need them most. In addition to serving on the CVIA leadership team, he also serves on the leadership team of PATH’s Center for Malaria Control and Elimination (CMCE), a cross-disciplinary group that oversees PATH’s portfolio of malaria work, which also includes new treatments, diagnostic tools, and piloting new approaches to malaria control and elimination. Dr. Birkett also serves as Project Director for PATH’s role on the introduction of the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S.
Dr. Birkett has more than 25 years of vaccine development experience, gained in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining PATH he spent over a decade working for biotechnology companies, where he led teams that successfully advanced novel influenza and malaria vaccine candidates from research through first-in-human clinical studies. Most recently he was Senior Director of Preclinical Research at Acambis (now Sanofi Pasteur Biologics Co.), a company with US and UK operations where he had responsibility for the company’s global preclinical vaccine research portfolio, with a special focus on influenza and adjuvant technologies. Prior to Acambis, he played a similar role at Apovia Inc., a company with US and German operations where he served as a Vice President of Preclinical Development.
Dr. Birkett earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Virginia Commonwealth University(US); he has a BSc (Honors) in Applied Biological Sciences from the University of the West of England (UK).