Our ICEMR project (International Centers of Excellence in Malaria Research) been renewed — for another 7 years, to the tune of $8.5 million — all from the National Institutes of Health. We’ll continue to study why previous malaria prevention and eradication methods haven’t worked — and how progress can be made.
Many of you came to Blantyre as part of this ICEMR work and we hope to see you again. The research spans continents and universities and is truly a collaborative effort.
Our first goal, as always, is preventing malaria infection in the first place. But we also want to find out how some people can remain infected without ever becoming sick. These people, whom we call “reservoirs of infection,” go about their daily lives without even knowing that they’re infected — but they can still transmit malaria to other people via mosquitoes.
In Malawi, we’re focusing on the mosquitoes themselves, from learning which people are good sources of parasites to trying to figure out changing mosquito behavior and insecticide resistance. Here’s a great story about Ned Walker’s “CSI” work on mosquitoes in Malawi.
There are so many ways malaria is being targeted, but too many people are still dying, including, according to the World Health Organization, 429,000 people in 2015, mostly in Africa.
Partners in the ICEMR program include Michigan State University, the University of Malawi College of Medicine, the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland. Here’s the press release from Michigan State.