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GEN News Highlights : Jul 9, 2010
NIH to Fund 10 Malaria Research Centers with $14M in the First Year
Facilities will be set up in 20 endemic countries to pad infrastructure and resources.
The NIAID has decided to establish 10 new malaria research centers and will provide $14 million to do so in the first year. The seven-year awards will establish the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic, covering 20 countries including parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America.
Sustainable and effective malaria control requires research in multiple settings on the complex interactions among the parasite, the mosquito vector, the local ecology, and the human host, notes Lee Hall, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the parasitology and international programs branch in NIAID.
“The ICEMR program seeks to address this need by creating a network of multidisciplinary research centers in malaria-endemic settings. The centers aim to generate critical knowledge, tools, and evidence-based strategies to support intervention and control programs by government organizations and healthcare institutions.”
Overall, these centers are expected to bring critical infrastructure to these endemic regions and help build training and research capacity to combat malaria worldwide. Each center will design and conduct multidisciplinary research on the epidemiology, transmission, and pathogenesis of malaria in endemic geographic regions.
They will also each design and conduct special projects to capitalize on new opportunities and emerging public health needs. The centers will integrate clinical and field approaches with laboratory-based immunologic, molecular, and genomic methods. Additionally every center will develop and conduct training and career development programs for researchers from malaria-endemic areas.
These regions include some of the focus countries of the President's Malaria Initiative, an effort that began in 2005 to fight malaria in areas most affected by the disease. Infection by malaria-causing parasites results in approximately 240 million cases around the globe annually and causes more than 850,000 deaths each year, according to the NIAID. Malaria has been eliminated from many parts of the globe, but 40% of the world's population still lives in areas where they are at risk for contracting the disease, the NIAID continues.
The principal investigators selected to establish the ICEMRs are as follows:
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