Fighting Malaria in Children
07/30/2010

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded a prestigious Clinical Scientist Development Award to Dr. Audrey Odom, a Faculty Scholar of the Children's Discovery Institute.

Award-winning research in malaria

Dr. Odom studies a parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, that causes malaria.  This disease kills more than 1 million people each year, with most deaths in children under age 5.

With the help of funding from the Children's Discovery Institute, Dr, Odom has described a pathway of the parasite's activity. This pathway is a target for novel drug therapy that can treat malaria.  Finding new drugs for malaria is important, because the parasite has become resistant to commonly used older drugs.

Half-million dollar grant

Dr. Odom will receive $486,000 over three years from the Doris Duke Foundation to conduct research and help establish her lab. Since 1998, 170 physician‐scientists have received CSDA grants totaling approximately $72 million. The goal of the CSDA is to encourage the next generation of physician‐scientists to stay committed to clinical research by providing support as they transition to an independent research career.

The Doris Duke grant builds on the $300,000 Faculty Scholar award Dr. Odom received from the Children's Discovery Institute.  It's an example of how the Faculty Scholar program "incubates" young researchers. The program enables these scientists to develop promising new ideas that can help children. It also brings outside funding and recognition to Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital. 

Click here for more information on Dr. Odom.

Read an article on her work in Pathways newseletter.