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Prof. Stanley Moffatt wins a Research Award for Malaria Project

In collaboration with Prof. Isaac Quaye from the University of Namibia School of Medicine, Prof. Stanley Moffatt (Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs) has jointly received a research grant of €150,000 from Merck (Switzerland) for their project entitled “Molecular Epidemiology and Host Factor Analysis of Plasmodium vivax Infections in Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries”. According to Prof. Moffatt, Plasmodium vivax is one of 6 species of the plasmodium parasite that is transmitted to humans through the bite of mosquito vectors. Ample research however suggests that, due to Duffy antigen (receptor for the malaria parasite) mutations in numerous African countries, there is a limited presence of the parasite on the African continent. More genetic evaluations are therefore required to identify the true presence of the parasite in African regions where it is believed not to be present. This research work will involve large samples from infected (and non-infected) individuals in selected African countries using molecular methods and protocols in order to define variants in the population, assess parasite-induced hematological and gene profile responses, and identify potential molecular biomarkers for the disease for future gene therapy. 
Congratulations to Prof. Moffatt and the international team for winning this research grant.