Approximately half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. An estimated 247 million people are infected every year, the disease causes debilitating cycles of pain, fever, coma and even death. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one million people died from malaria in 2008, most of them young children in impoverished sub-Saharan Africa.
Established in 1997, the Harvard Malaria Initiative (HMI) is a university-wide research and training initiative that is led by world-renowned tropical disease expert Professor Dyann Wirth. Centrally located at the Harvard School of Public Health, HMI researchers employ sophisticated laboratory approaches to understand the underlying causes of drug resistance, identify and screen potential new drugs and drug targets, rapidly translate new findings into practical treatments, and train researchers and public health professionals from the US and malaria endemic regions.
For more information on the HMI and the new university-wide Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe initiative, please visit defeatingmalaria.harvard.edu.