Prof Karen I. Barnes is a professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Cape Town, with research interests focusing on improving the treatment of malaria. This includes translational research on the clinical pharmacology of antimalarials in vulnerable target populations (young children, pregnant women, those with prevalent co-morbidities such as HIV and malnutrition).

She has conducted comprehensive evaluations of changes in malaria treatment policy, including from monotherapy to artemisinin-based combination therapy for treating uncomplicated malaria, from injectable quinine to injectable artesunate for the treatment of severe malaria and single low dose primaquine for malaria transmission blocking. She supports the development of much-needed novel antimalarials through the conduct of clinical trials including the Phase 1 First-in-Human study on MMV048 and drug-drug interaction studies.

Prof Barnes is the Founding Director of the MRC Collaborating Centre for Optimising Antimalarial Therapy (CCOAT), and is co-chair of the South African Malaria Elimination Committee and the WHO TDR Scientific Working Group on Research for Implementation. She leads the Pharmacology Scientific Group of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and is a member of the WHO Guidelines Development Group on Malaria Chemotherapy. She is a member of ASSAf and a fellow the UCT College of Fellows.