This MCDC Initiative Award provided top up funding to an existing project looking at PfEMP1-based malaria vaccine development for African children and pregnant women.
The study built on years of intensive research to narrow down the best candidate for a pregnancy-associated malaria vaccine to one part of the protein called VAR2CSA. Research on a malaria vaccine for children has pointed to a particular subgroup of proteins playing a significant role in severe malaria pathogenesis. More research is needed to get VAR2CSA into clinical trials and to identify this subgroup of proteins. The MCDC provided funding for 1 year to further this existing research project, and in particular, to help with laboratory analysis.