UC Irvine public health professor Guiyun Yan will lead groundbreaking malaria field research in impoverished reaches of China, Myanmar and Thailand, thanks to new federal funding. UCI will receive $4.7 million of a seven-year, $14.5 million award to Pennsylvania State University by the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases. Yan will collaborate with Penn State principal investigator Liwang Cui.
There are several strains of malaria – some increasingly drug-resistant – in Southeast Asia. Fighting the disease in hilly, strife-ridden areas is difficult. Researchers hope to gain broader results by working with transients, refugees and Chinese residents near the Myanmar border.
Transmitted by mosquito bites in tropical and subtropical zones, malaria causes fever, chills and flulike symptoms and can be deadly. About 40 percent of the world’s population live in at-risk areas, with about 240 million cases resulting in 850,000 deaths annually, according to NIAID. The Penn State-UCI project is one of 10 global malaria research efforts the agency is funding.
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