Media Advisory: UCSF Hosts Symposium On World Malaria Day

WHAT: To celebrate World Malaria Day 2012, on Wednesday, April 25, the UCSF Global Health Group and local non-profit Zagaya are hosting the Bay Area World Malaria Day Symposium.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 25, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Gladstone Institutes, 1650 Owens Street, UCSF Mission Bay campus.

WHY: The symposium is one of hundreds of events taking place around the globe to celebrate progress and emphasize the need for continued work in the global fight against malaria.    

This exploration of research, technical innovation, campaigns, programs and policies follows closely on the heels of cautionary findings — UCSF researchers and their colleagues reported in a new study published April 23 that, since the 1930s, funding cuts for malaria control have been most responsible for deadly resurgences of the disease.

WHO: Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, DSc, the executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences and a former director of Mexico's National Institutes for Health, will open the symposium at 8:30 a.m. UC Berkeley professor Jay Keasling, PhD, associate director of the Physical Biosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will deliver the keynote address at 9 a.m.

Michele Barry, MD, the senior associate dean of global health and director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University, will provide the symposium’s closing remarks at 1 p.m.

Keasling is an expert in synthetic biology, research in which microbes are turned into factories to improve production of useful chemicals. He founded a company, Amyris, which pioneered the use of microbes that make artemisinic acid, a precursor of artemisinin, an anti-malarial therapeutic.

Barry is a leader in global health and tropical medicine. She served as the president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and launched an international tropical medicine education initiative during her tenure.

The three themes that speakers will address during the day are:

  • Research and exploration — including vaccine development, improved diagnostic tools, resistance-detection mechanisms, and genetic mapping of malaria vectors.
  • Technical innovation — including new drug formulations, drug delivery methodologies, use of mobile phones in surveillance efforts, novel manufacturing and anti-counterfeiting technologies.
  • Implementation of campaigns, programs, and policy — including advocacy campaigns and resources to increase awareness of malaria, domestic and international programs that build capacity for malaria prevention, and policy recommendations to sustain the gains in malaria control and elimination.

Professionals and students will present five-minute “sound bites” on their work.

See the full agenda here.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.