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Speaker Series on Malaria Eradication

Innovative approaches to malaria elimination from diverse settings

The Series features talks by distinguished scholars and policymakers with the goal of fostering discussions about successes and challenges in the field of poverty alleviation.

Event Details:

Thursday, August 3, 2023
9:00am - 10:00am PDT




This event is open to:

General Public

Transmitted through mosquito bites, malaria is a life-threatening disease that endangers nearly half of the world’s population. Despite being preventable and curable, it killed approximately 619,000 people in 2021. Malaria impacts impoverished communities the most, and children are particularly at risk: Children under five accounted for about 80% of all malaria deaths in Africa in 2021.

Our panelists discussed ongoing efforts and successes in malaria eradication programs, drawing from their research experience around the world. Dr. Jane Achan provided some historical context and gave an overview of the main barriers to malaria eradication. Dr. Ally Olotu then reported on progress made with the development and implementation of malaria vaccines. Finally, Dr. Michelle Hsiang shared innovative approaches in eradication efforts aimed at the parasite and mosquito vectors. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Jade Benjamin-Chung, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology & Population Health at Stanford University and King Center Faculty Affiliate.


About the Panelists:

Jane Achan, Senior Research Advisor at Malaria Consortium

Jane Achan

Dr. Jane Achan is a medical doctor with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, a master’s degree in Pediatrics and Child Health and master’s training in Clinical Trials. She is the Senior Research Advisor at Malaria Consortium, a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organization, where she oversees and supports the research agenda across several countries in Africa and Asia. 

She has been involved in clinical and operational research in the fields of infectious diseases, maternal and child health and health systems for the past 20 years. Her professional interests include evaluation of chemotherapeutic interventions to guide health policy, evaluation of health-related impact of interventions and operational health systems research. More recently she has been involved in evaluating potential interactions between COVID-19 and malaria and exploring the role of innovative strategies for malaria burden reduction in special risk populations in high burden settings.

Michelle Hsiang, Director of Research for the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the Institute for Global Health Sciences, UCSF

michelle hsiang

Dr. Michelle Hsiang aims to improve the health of children through clinical care and the study of malaria. She is Associate Professor in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Epidemiology, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, as well as a Chan-Zuckerburg Biohub Investigator. She serves as the Director of Research for the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the Institute for Global Health Sciences.

Her research is in the epidemiology of malaria in low-endemic settings aiming for elimination. She develops and evaluates novel malaria diagnostic, surveillance, and drug and vector control interventions to address the challenge of low-level infections that contribute to persistent transmission and disease. She has worked mainly in sub-Saharan Africa but also works in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

She was an inaugural member of the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG) and co-founded the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN). She is a WomenLift Leader in Global Health through Stanford and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She studied Human Biology as an undergraduate at Stanford University and attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. She trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UCSF, and obtained a Masters in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Ally Olotu, Head of Intervention Trials at the Ifakara Health Institute

ally olotu

Dr. Ally Olotu is a senior research scientist from the Ifakara Health Institute with an interest in infectious disease epidemiology, interventions, and innovations to tackle the burden of diseases in developing countries. He has experience in research on malaria epidemiology and malaria vaccines. He is a graduate of the University of Dar es salaam at Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences with an MD degree in 2002. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2013 from his research on malaria epidemiology, immune correlates of protection, and long-term efficacy of RTS,S candidate malaria vaccine among infants in Kenya and Tanzania. 

He is currently the head of the Interventions and Clinical Trials Department at the Ifakara Health Institute. He is also a senior EDCTP fellow since 2020 and MRC African Research Leader since 2017. Dr. Olotu is currently serving as the vice-chair of the MIMVaC-Africa Project Steering committee and will lead the Controlled Human Malaria Infection studies to evaluate the efficacy of blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates at the Ifakara Health Institute.

About the Moderator:

Jade Benjamin-Chung, Faculty Affiliate at the King Center on Global Development

Jade Benjamin-Chung

Jade Benjamin-Chung, PhD MPH, is an assistant professor at Stanford University in the department of epidemiology and population health. Her research applies causal inference and machine learning techniques to study interventions to control, eliminate, or eradicate environmentally-transmitted infectious diseases, including interventions to prevent malaria, diarrhea, soil-transmitted helminths, and influenza. She is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator and the recipient of a K01 Career Development Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to estimate spillover effects of malaria eradication interventions in southern Africa (K01AI141616). She completed her graduate training in epidemiology and biostatistics at UC Berkeley and joined Stanford in May 2021.

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