SMMS Hosts NIAID/NIH Malaria Immunology Section Chief

Carole A. Long, Ph.D   –   Chief, Malaria Immunology Section

Dr. Long received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Pennsylvania and also did post-doctoral training there. Before joining NIAID in 1999, Dr. Long was a professor of microbiology and immunology at Hahnemann University School of Medicine (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia, PA. She has served as president of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and chair of the Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section. Her lab’s work focuses on innate and adaptive immune responses to malaria parasites. These immune responses are explored in rodent model systems and in children and adults living in malaria-endemic areas.

SMMS executives presented and demonstrated the Signature Mapping TBDx automated slide management and detection system to Dr. Long and her associate Dr. Kazutoyo Miura on April 20th.  Drs. Long and Miura work exclusively in the field of malaria, but had expressed a desire to understand the operations of the TBDx system, and its potential applicability to the detection of malaria.  There are many parallel challenges that exist in the detection of malaria that TBDx solves for tuberculosis.  Additionally, the areas most heavily infected with malaria tend to be the areas most heavily infected with TB, and would provide a natural marketing and sales segue from our efforts in TB.

The two-hour meeting concluded with Dr. Long offering to provide introductions and recommendations to international funding agencies that focus on the development of technologies to stem the growth of the malaria epidemic.  In addition, Dr. Long has offered her support – slides, data, domain knowledge and counsel on the development of an automated system for the detection of malaria.

Key facts

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • In 2008, malaria caused nearly one million deaths, mostly among African children.
  • Malaria is preventable and curable.
  • Malaria can decrease gross domestic product by as much as 1.3% in countries with high disease rates.
  • Non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected.

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