Today, April 25, is the annual World Malaria Day. This year’s theme – End Malaria for Good – seeks to build upon past successes in combatting this deadly disease, which killed over 435,000 people in 2015, and sustain this progress in order to truly “end malaria for good.” At the University of Notre Dame, Neil Lobo, a research associate professor of biological sciences and an Eck Institute for Global Health faculty member, is working to end malaria for good by focusing on the vectors that transmit the disease and how certain methods or interventions reduce malaria transmission.
The National Science Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), with 24 current Notre Dame students winning the prestigious award and another 17 earning honorable mention. Overall, there were 41 students recognized by the NSF. This doubles the number of Notre Dame awardees from 2015, and nearly doubles the previous Notre Dame record of 26, set last year, for total students recognized by the NSF. The NSF-GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and social science disciplines who are pursuing research-based degrees. The award provides a stipend, tuition support, and research funds for three years.
What is true for humans is also true for baboons: The tougher the childhood, the higher the risks of premature death later in life. Numerous studies have shown that childhood trauma can have far-reaching effects on adult health and survival; new research finds the same is true for wild baboons.
Jennifer Tank has received the 2016 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., Community-Based Research Award for working together with Kosciusko County farmers and local conservation staff to reduce nutrient runoff in the Shatto Ditch watershed. The award is a $5,000 prize presented annually to a regular faculty member at the University of Notre Dame who has completed at least one research project that addresses a need within South Bend or the surrounding area.
Human malaria, uniquely transmitted by a handful of anopheline mosquitoes, continues to attack nearly 200 million people and claims the lives of 600,000 each year. Africa bears the biggest burden due to its dominant vector, Anopheles gambiae. Ever since the groundbreaking Anopheles gambiae genome sequencing project was published in 2002, efforts have been underway to harness genomics for novel vector-based malaria control strategies. Nora J. Besansky, O’Hara Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, assembled a diverse and multinational team of scientists to crack the genetic code of the Y chromosome in malaria mosquitoes for the first time.