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Hopkins wins grant to fight malaria around the globe

Johns Hopkins University was chosen as one of 10 International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research by the National Institutes of Health, the agency reported today.

NIH's National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is trying to accelerate the control of malaria and eventually eradicate it. So, officials put up $14 million in the first year of funding. The grants will continue for seven years.

There are about 240 million cases of infection from malaria-causing parasites every year and more than 850,000 deaths. The new funding will go directly to some of  the regions where malaria is the greatest problem, including parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.

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Teams will conduct 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," said the agency director, Dr.  Anthony S. Fauci.

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About 40 percent of the world's population lives in an area where they are at risk for malaria, though it has been eliminated from many parts of the world.

The new centers will aim to produce intervention and control measures, officials said.

Here is the list of centers, their focus and their principal investigators:

• Malaria Transmission and the Impact of Control Efforts in Southern Africa
Principal Investigator: Peter Agre, M.D.
Lead Institution: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

• Center for the Study of Complex Malaria in India
Principal Investigator: Jane Carlton, Ph. D.
Lead Institution: New York University School of Medicine, New York City

• Southeast Asia Malaria Research Center
Principal Investigator: Liwang Cui, Ph.D.
Lead Institution: Pennsylvania State University, University Park

• Program for Resistance, Immunology, Surveillance & Modeling of Malaria in Uganda
Principal Investigator: Matthew Dorsey, M.D.
Lead Institution: University of California, San Francisco

• Latin American Center for Malaria Research and Control
Principal Investigator: Socrates Herrera-Valencia, M.D.
Lead Institution: Caucaseo Scientific Research Center, Cali, Colombia

• Research to Control and Eliminate Malaria in SE Asia and SW Pacific
Principal Investigator: James Kazura, M.D.
Lead Institution: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland

• Population-based Approach to Malaria Research and Control in West Africa
Principal Investigator: Donald Krogstad, M.D.

Lead Institution: Tulane University, New Orleans


• Malaria Evolution in South Asia
Principal Investigator: Pradipsinh Rathod, Ph. D.
Lead Institution: University of Washington, Seattle

• Determinants of Malaria Disease in Malawi
Principal Investigator: Terrie Taylor, D.O.
Lead Institution: Michigan State University, East Lansing

• Peruvian/Brazilian Amazon Center of Excellence in Malaria
Principal Investigator: Joseph Vinetz, M.D.
Lead Institution: University of California, San Diego

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