19.4 Million Dollar Grant Forms Georgia Malaria Research Team

Credit Emory University

A new malaria focused research center will be established thanks to a 19.4 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers from around the state will form the Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center.

Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University will make up the research consortium.

This may sound unusual, but imagine using mathematics to study malaria.

Mary Galinski is a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Emory.

“It’s not just studying the biology, but actually bringing in mathematics to try to predict the best experiments and how to refine experiments along the way and that’s the big benefit of working with Georgia Tech and also some investigators at UGA.”

Professor Galinski has been studying and researching malaria since 1980.

Over the last 15 years, she’s been leading malaria research projects at the Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Malaria is transmitted by a specific female mosquito.

From there, a blood-born parasite can develop in the liver.

The NIH award will allow researchers to specifically focus on what’s call a system’s biology project.

In other words, “it means that you’re trying to understand the whole system of malaria. How things function from the parasite called plasmodium coming from the mosquito into humans and then what happens,” says Galinski.

Malaria is widespread in hundred countries, most in Africa and Asia.

In many cases it is preventable and curable.

But for developing countries fighting the deadly affliction is costly.