In Sub-Saharan Africa, a child dies of malaria every minute, resulting in over half a million childhood deaths each year from this treatable, preventable disease. Dr. Theresa Madaline, a 2013 graduate of the Einstein/Montefiore Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program now in her first year as an Infectious Diseases faculty member and attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center, is planning to run the Philadelphia Marathon November 17 to raise money and awareness for malaria research in Malawi.
Dr. Madaline's research, mentored by Dr. Kami Kim and collaborating with the Blantyre Malaria Project, focuses on the interaction between HIV and malaria in Malawian children. "Little is known about why children die from certain severe forms of malaria, and how to prevent these malaria-related deaths. Our group has discovered that children with HIV tend to develop a severe form of “cerebral malaria” at an older age than their HIV-negative counterparts, possibly due to dysfunction of immune cells in the setting of HIV," said Dr. Madaline, who spent a month in Blantyre, Malawi this past January-February to deliver medical supplies and resources and start a research project for children affected by HIV and malaria.
Dr. Madaline and colleagues are now studying the immune systems of Malawian children with HIV and cerebral malaria to identify what makes them unique from their HIV-negative counterparts, and how their immune cells react to the parasite. "Understanding this phenomenon could be the key to unlocking the underlying cause of illness and death in children with cerebral malaria, and ultimately identifying better treatments," Dr. Madaline said. more info
In pursuing their research, Dr. Madaline and colleagues have been able to bring much-needed resources such as HIV tests kits and a flow cytometer to the University of Malawi College of Medicine.
Tax-deductible donations to the Marathon for Malaria campaign will go directly to the Blantyre Malaria Project in Malawi (founded by physician Terrie Taylor of Michigan State University) to buy bednets and malaria medicines, pay for hospital treatment for children with severe malaria, and fund research t end this devastating disease.
Donations may be made online through Crowdrise.