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Malaria Math: Using big data to study malarial resistance

New approach: Emory’s Mary Galinski is leading an effort to understand immune response to malaria.

Even after decades of scientific inquiry and medical advances, malaria remains a stubborn adversary for researchers. Emory scientists are pursuing a novel approach that could lead to host-directed therapies for the disease—that is, interventions to help people already infected with malaria to function as normally as possible by strengthening their physiological response rather than targeting the parasite.

We want to come up with ways to make the host feel better, to relieve the disease symptoms at least temporarily,” says Mary Galinski, principal investigator and professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Emory’s School of Medicine, the Emory Vaccine Center, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Malaria, the most widespread human parasitic disease, is caused by a parasite delivered via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. But not everyone hosting the parasite gets sick—and it is that phenomenon that’s attracting interest at Emory.

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