It is estimated that 110 million individuals are at risk for malaria epidemics in Africa, and that 110,000 deaths occur annually as a result of these epidemics. We propose an innovative training grant for translational research in malaria transmission and immunity to address the gap between clinical, basic science and public health research training in malaria epidemic prevention and control. Innovations in this grant include a diverse mix of trainees, interactive instruction and an integrated core training program that is required for all students. Integrated core training will consist of a common mini-curriculum, joint educational sessions, clinical and lab rotations, and a rotation at the Kenyan Ministry of Health Division of Malaria Control. The Program Director (PD) on the present proposal, Dr. Chandy C. John, has conducted translational malaria research in epidemic-prone areas of Kenya for the past 11 years in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Trainees will conduct their research projects within his study on malaria transmission and immunity in highland Kenya. The collaborative training sites and faculty at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Maseno University, Moi University and KEMRI together provide superb infrastructure and capacity for this training. The overall goal of this study is to establish a core of Kenyan researchers and public health professionals who significantly advance the understanding, control and prevention of malaria epidemics and the clinical care of malaria in individuals living in areas prone to epidemics. We propose to accomplish this goal by training 4 doctoral students in immunology, entomology, epidemiology and biostatistics;2 Master's of Medicine pediatric residents in malaria immunology and epidemiology;and 2 postdoctoral fellows in malaria immunology and epidemiology. The training focus of this grant, bringing together basic science, clinical, epidemiologic and statistical research to better understand and prevent malaria epidemics, addresses a major gap in translational infectious disease research training in Kenya. The innovative training outlined will generate a new set of research leaders that are able to bring together the disparate disciplines of clinical medicine, basic science and public health and develop synergistic strategies to decrease malaria morbidity and mortality from malaria epidemics in Kenya.
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