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UC San Diego to lead new malaria research center in South America
Date:7/8/2010

Tropical disease specialist Joseph Vinetz, MD, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine will lead an ambitious multi-national effort to help control and eventually conquer malaria, establishing a new Peruvian/Brazilian International Center of Excellence in Malaria Research Center (ICEMR) with a seven-year, $9.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant is one of 10 awards announced July 8 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of the NIH. All of the grants support ICEMR projects located in seven major geographic regions of the world where malaria is an endemic, significant public health problem. The ultimate goal is global eradication of the disease.

Vinetz, a professor of medicine at UC San Diego, will be principal investigator of the Peru/Brazil ICEMR, whose mission will be to comprehensively study and understand the complete disease cycle of malaria in the Amazon basin. Collaborating with UC San Diego scientists will be colleagues from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru; the Federal University of Acre and the Universidade Estadual Paulista, both in Brazil; the U.S.-based Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health; the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.; and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment in Lima.

Except for cases contracted elsewhere and brought here, the disease of malaria has largely been eliminated in the United States. It was officially declared eradicated in 1949. In other parts of the world, however, malaria remains a persistent and deadly affliction. More than 3 billion people almost half the world's population live in regions of the world where they are at significant risk, primarily in parts of Africa, Asia and South America. An estimated 1 million malaria-related deaths and 300 million infections occur annually. The vast major
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Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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