The prevalence of Plasmodium vivax has been increasing lately, and the -70-80 million cases currently recorded annually are of growing global public health importance. However, research aimed at understanding this parasite species has lagged by comparison to that carried out for P. falciparum. This training program aims to enhance research on P. vivax malaria in Thailand, where P. vivax malaria has been on the rise and has become equally prevalent as P. falciparum. The overall training goal is to support Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows in P. vivax research and to transfer the state-of-the-art technologies to Thai scientists. The scientific objectives of the training plan address four areas of P. vivax malaria: 1) in vitro culture and cryopreservation techniques, 2) interactions between P. vivax and P. falciparum in natural infections, 3) parasite population diversity and molecular evolution, and 4) molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics. The training will be conducted in Thailand through a double-track mechanism: 1) long-term training of Thai Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, and 2) short-term training of Thai scientists through courses and workshops. Each trainee will be responsible for developing a research project in one of the four areas of P. vivax research by working closely with Thai and U.S. mentors. Mentors will provide continual guidance for their research and valuable training opportunities to promote career development of the trainees. A series of short training courses and workshops will be given in Thailand to provide the trainees with hands-on experience in P. vivax malaria research. The training program will also support trainees to come to the U.S. for short-term, research-oriented training in technologies needed for their research. To build a cadre of young scientists with long-term commitment and motivation in malaria research will be essential for sustaining strong interests in malaria research and, ultimately, for control of this disease in Thailand. Establishing this training mechanism in Thailand will have a significant impact on future training of malariologists in Asia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP-2 (51))
Program Officer
Sina, Barbara J
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Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
University Park
United States
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