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World Malaria Day: MSU Research Solutions

Single mosquito

World Malaria Day has been designated as April 25, 2015. According to the World Health Organization, malaria is both a preventable and treatable mosquito-borne disease that infects 198 million people each year. However, well over a half-million people die each year from malaria, and 90 percent of those deaths occur in Africa.

At Michigan State University, researchers from wide ranging disciplines – AgBioResearch to zoology, animal science to human medicine – have been working for decades on all aspects of the disease, many of them living and working in Africa for months at a time. Here are some of their stories, just a glimpse of the progress they are making in the global fight against malaria.

Peter Lillehoj

Peter Lillehoj

MSU to Develop Mobile App for Malaria Diagnosis

Peter Lillehoj, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is heading a team of researchers that will use a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop the technology to diagnose and monitor cerebral malaria using mobile phones.


Child in crib being treated for malaria

Malawi hospital

Understanding How Malaria Kills Children

In a groundbreaking study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015, Michigan State University’s Terrie Taylor and her team discovered what causes children with cerebral malaria to die: The brain becomes so swollen it is forced out through the bottom of the skull and compresses the brain stem, causing the children to stop breathing. More…

Edward Walker, Microbio & Molecular Bio, AgBio Research, Entomology

Ned Walker

Studying Insecticide at Molecular Level

In the past decade, mosquitoes have shown growing resistance to the pyrethroid insecticides used to treat mosquito nets. Edward A. (“Ned”) Walker, MSU professor of microbiology and molecular genetics,  is investigating how the insecticide works at a molecular level, which could help stem mosquitoes’ resistance to the insecticide. More…


Karl Seydel

New Tool Shows Which Kids at Risk for Malaria

Researchers at Michigan State University have identified a test that can determine which children with malaria are likely to develop cerebral malaria, a much more life-threatening form of the disease. The screening tool could be a game-changer in resource-limited rural health clinics. More…

man in suit

Zhiyong Xi

Using Mosquitos to Fight Mosquito-borne Diseases

Zhiyong Xi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, and founder and director of the Sun Yat-sen University-Michigan State University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases, has discovered a biological means to control the spread of malaria. More…



NPR Recognizes ‘Malaria, Poems’ from MSU Press

The book Malaria, Poems, published by Michigan State University Press, was recently added to the NPR must-read list for 2014. “We have begun to focus increasingly on what we are calling ‘engaged poetry’ – poetry that addresses larger social issues,” stated MSU Press director Gabriel Dotto. More…

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