Ashley J. Birkett, PhD, is the Director of PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), a product development programme of PATH. Standing at the intersection of malaria and immunisation, MVI is part of PATH’s Center for Malaria Control and Elimination and Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, which brings together PATH’s expertise across every stage of vaccine research, development, and introduction to make lifesaving vaccines widely available to women, children, and communities across the world.
Dr Birkett is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of MVI’s strategy, including programmatic, administrative, and financial management aspects, to develop new models and explore new pathways that will accelerate the development of malaria vaccines. Dr Birkett has more than 20 years of vaccine development experience, initially with biotechnology companies, where he advanced novel influenza and malaria vaccine candidates from discovery through first-in-human clinical studies.
Prior to joining PATH, he was Senior Director of preclinical research at Acambis (now Sanofi Pasteur), where he had responsibility for the company’s global preclinical vaccine research portfolio. He served in similar roles at Apovia Inc. and, prior to that, Immune Complex Corporation (ICC), including seven years (1997–2004) leading the Malaria Vaccine Program housed first at ICC and then at Apovia.
Dr Birkett earned a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics form Virginia Commonwealth University; he has a BSc (Honors) in applied biological sciences from the University of the West of England in the United Kingdom.