Athens, Ga. – Experts from the University of Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University will gather on March 19 to discuss malaria in a symposium titled “The Secret Life of Malaria – A Global Journey to Cure and Prevention.”
The symposium, organized by UGA’s Division of One Health, will take place in room 175 of the Paul D. Coverdell Center from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but organizers ask that attendees register online in advance. A free lunch will be provided to registered attendees.
Susan Sanchez, professor and chair of One Health, explains, “One Health is a concept describing the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health, something we all need to be increasingly aware of in this global age of anthropomorphic changes to our environment and wide-spread travel.”
Experts at this symposium will discuss diagnostics, therapeutics and prevention of malaria including recent findings and new approaches.
Nearly 3.3 billion people are at risk of malaria, according to the World Health Organization, and the mosquito-borne disease kills more than half a million people each year. Malaria is particularly deadly for children under five years of age. The WHO estimates that one child dies of malaria every minute.
There are many different types of malaria that can infect birds, reptiles, humans and other animals. Approaches to tackling this disease in people can be translated to the prevention and treatment of disease in animals such as endangered bird species.
Guest speakers at this symposium are Mary Galinski of Emory University and Venkatachalam Udhayakumar of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Galinski is program director of Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center and will be speaking the night before at the Voices from the Vanguard lecture series. Udhayakumar works in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria.
University of Georgia speakers include Donald E. Champagne, department of entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Juan B. Gutierrez, department of mathematics, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Jessica C. Kissinger, department of genetics, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and co-principal investigator, Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center; Julie M. Moore, Owino Simon Odera, and David S. Peterson, department of infectious diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine; and Vasant Muralidharan, department of cellular biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
The symposium will also feature a documentary, “An Extraordinary Effort to Catch a Killer in the Dark,” presented by Imagine No Malaria. This documentary follows the stories of national and global efforts to combat malaria.
Symposium sponsors include Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, department of cellular biology, department of infectious diseases, Faculty of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Bioinformatics, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.