Mahamadou A Thera, MD, MPH, Ph.D., FAAS, is the Scientific Director of the Bandiagara Malaria Program (BMP), an MRTC research program that conducts complex research on the pathogenesis of simple and severe malaria, host-parasitic interactions, clinical trials of vaccines and malaria drugs. Under Dr. Thera's leadership, the BMP was recognised by ANDI (African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation), as a Centre of Excellence for Clinical Development of Antimalarial Products in 2011 after a competition that attracted more than 117 applications from Africa and resulted in selection of 31 other centers across Africa that have been awarded the ANDI Centre of Excellence label.
He was the principal investigator of several clinical trials that assessed blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates and malaria drugs. His group established for the first time, proof of concept of the allele specific protective efficacy of a blood-stage malaria vaccine against clinical malaria in a malaria endemic country.
He is a Professor of Parasitology-Mycology at the Faculty of Medicine and Odonto-Stomatology, University of Sciences Techniques and Technologies of Bamako since 2008 and contributes to the training of new generations of medical, pharmacy doctors, and biologists in Mali and Africa.
An internationally recognised expert in the development of malaria vaccines, he has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of several bodies including the WHO Scientific Committee on Malaria Vaccine, MALVAC, and JTEG, European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), of which he has been a member since 2010, and chairman of the scientific committee from January 2015 to December 2017. He also served on the DSMB of several clinical trials of vaccines against malaria, Ebola virus disease, and Lassa fever. Prof Thera is a member of the Academy of Science of Mali since April 2018 and a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences since August 2020. He has co-authored more than 120 articles in international journals indexed in PubMed.
Prof Thera holds an MD from the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy of Jassy, (Romania, 1986), an MPH from the University of Bamako (Mali, 1996), an MSc in Biostatistics and Conduct of Clinical Trials from the University of Paris 6 (France, 2003) and Ph.D. in Parasitology-Mycology from University of Bamako (Mali, 2015). Prof Thera was in 2000, the first Fellow of the WHO/TDR Clinical Research and Development Fellowship, initially supported by GSK and TDR. This fellowship turned into a very successful capacity-building program in Clinical research and product development for developing countries, thanks to substantial funding received from the BMGF and EDCTP.
Prof Thera’s areas of expertise include malaria epidemiology, malaria pathogenesis, clinical trials, product clinical research and development, ethics, parasitic diseases.