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NIH funds 10 international centers of excellence for malaria research
Date:7/8/2010

In an effort to accelerate the control of malaria and help eliminate it worldwide, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced approximately $14 million in first-year funding to establish 10 new malaria research centers around the world.

The seven-year awards will establish the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic, including parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Latin America. These regions include some of the focus countries of the President's Malaria Initiative, an effort that since 2005 has worked to fight malaria in the regions 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. Teams of scientists involved in the ICEMR program will be conducting research in more than 20 countries.

"One of our primary goals with these centers is to fund cutting-edge research in malaria-endemic areas that will keep up with the rapidly changing epidemiology of the disease," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Malaria has been eliminated from many parts of the globe, but 40 percent of the world's population still live in areas where they are at risk for contracting the disease. According to Lee Hall, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Parasitology and International Programs Branch in NIAID, 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.

"The ICEMR program seeks to address this need by creating a network of multidisciplinary research centers in malaria-endemic settings," Dr. Hall says. "The centers aim to generate critical knowledge, tools and evidence-based strategies to support intervention and control programs by
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Contact: Nalini Padmanabhan
padmanabhannm@mail.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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