Join us! Attention aspiring post-doctoral scientists

The Malaria Collaboratory (sites.duke.edu/taylorlab) is recruiting an exceptional post-doctoral scientist to work on the molecular and immuno-epidemiology of malaria parasites. The candidate will join an existing team at Duke, Johns Hopkins, Moi University, and our field site in Kenya, and engage with investigators at all sites across various disciplines.

The ongoing main project leverages an innovative field study of mosquitos, people, and parasites in western Kenya, with which we can observe individual transmission and biting events to better understand the biology of malaria transmission in a natural setting (general project description here). Possible opportunities to engage with this large set of field samples and existing epidemiologic and genetic data include bioinformatic approaches to measuring parasite transmission, clinical outcomes of vector biting events, immunological responses to infectious bites and immune correlates of protection from disease. Candidates who are eligible to work in the U.S, have a PhD, DrPH, MD or equivalent doctoral degree, and relevant experience in statistics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, immunology, genetics or molecular biology will all be considered and have valuable perspectives to add to this work.

Irrespective of scientific background, the candidate can expect to join a vibrant academic community, develop essential scientific and professional skills, and conduct translational malaria research with explicit impact. The primary work site is Duke University, with the potential for significant time working directly with partners at the field site in Kenya.

Contact Steve Taylor with inquiries: steve.taylor at duke.edu

Cody Nelson gets made as a malariologist

Congratulations to Cody (and team members) for his new paper in Nature Communications analyzing the genetic relationships between parasites infecting household members in Western Kenya: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13578-4

Basically, parasites are more closely related genetically between members of the same household than between households, suggesting that household members are participating in the same transmission chain as those of their children with malaria. Whether the child infected the household members or vice versa remains to be seen….

Congratulations to Jens!

Jens Petersen PhD has been awarded an additional year of support as a post-doctoral scientist by the Alfred Benzon Foundation (http://www.benzon-foundation.dk/).

This will allow him to continue to investigate the effects of sickle-trait and other red cell disorders on phenotypes of parasitized red cells.

EPiTOMISE enrollment passes 50%

The EPiTOMISE study (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03178643) has passed 50% of its planned enrollees.

Congratulations once again to Sarah, Seline, Ernest, and Faith in Homa Bay for their recruitment and excellent care of these children through the trial.

EPiTOMISE enrollment crosses 100

The EPiTOMISE study in Homa Bay, Kenya, has just enrolled its 100th participant. Congratulations on fine work to Sarah Korwa and her team in Homa Bay.

The study is randomizing children under 10y to one of three malaria chemoprevention regimens in order to identify better ways to prevent malaria in this high-risk group of kids.

The study is registered here: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03178643?term=NCT03178643&rank=1

Welcome Jens!

Jens Petersen has joined us as a post-doctoral fellow. He earned his PhD from the University of Copenhagen and has just relocated to Durham from Denmark. He’ll be working on P falciparum pathogenesis and other projects that we dream up with him.

EPiTOMISE enrollment hits 25%

The EPiTOMISE study – an RCT of malaria chemoprevention in children with sickle cell anemia in Homa Bay, Kenya – has enrolled 25% of our target enrollment of 246. The first patient was enrolled in January 2018.

Congratulations to the crack study team operating at Homa Bay County Hospital for successfully recruiting these children and ensuring they receive great care through the study protocol.

Congratulations Joe!

Our very own Joe Saelens has been selected as an inaugural TL1 Post-doctoral Scholar by Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (https://www.ctsi.duke.edu/TL1-postdoc-training-program).

The program will pay him to perform science for up to two years, and enable him to get “made” in clinical and translational research by applying his bench and data science background to study the most important pathogen of them all: P. falciparum.

 

World Malaria Day reflections

Another World Malaria Day has arrived, marking another year’s passage of sustained malaria transmission.

This has gotten Assumpta thinking about finding and eradicating these parasites, as she describes in her new DGHI blog post: The Challenges of Treating a Disease without Symptoms.

Thanks to Assumpta for thinking on this important topic-

WASP enrolls its first participants

The first participants have been enrolled in Webuye, Kenya, in the WASP study, an observational study of antenatal syphilis. Congratulations to Dr Laktabai and the study team for getting this study off the ground!