Teun Bousema, malaria researcher from Radboud university medical center, receives a NWO Vici grant of 1.5 million euros. With this, he will research increasing resistance to one of the important malaria drugs. He is one of 34 researchers to receive a Vici grant.
The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa (SPARTAN)
Elimination of malaria is only possible with successful mosquito control and efficacious treatment. Recently, African parasites have emerged that are resistant to artemisinins, the most important malaria drug. The fate of artemisinin resistant parasites depends on their fitness and ability to infect mosquitoes. These aspects are currently unknown but crucially important in determining the future of malaria prevention and treatment in Africa. The SPARTAN project will examine the fitness of artemisinin-resistant parasites in Uganda in relation to host immunity, drug pressure and the presence of competing parasite variants. The project will further examine the transmissibility of artemisinin resistant infections to mosquitoes before and after malaria treatment and examine the impact of specific mutations that cause resistance. The SPARTAN project will support policy makers in deciding on drug policy change and on the deployment of interventions that can stop the spread of resistant malaria.
Teun Bousema, Professor of Epidemiology of Tropical Infectious Diseases: 'I am enormously pleased with this grant, because it gives us the opportunity to research drug resistance. Only by understanding the spread of this resistance, we can ensure that malaria remains treatable. We're running out of time!'
About the Vici grants
Vici is one of the largest scientific grants for individuals in the Netherlands and targets advanced researchers. They each receive 1.5 million euros from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). NWO’s Talent Scheme consists of the Vici, Veni and Vidi grants. The Vici grant targets senior researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research. In doing so, they have also supervised young researchers. Researchers who receive a Vici grant have the opportunity to further develop their research group, often in anticipation of a tenured professorship, if they do not already have one. ZonMw runs the NWO Talent Programme for the Health Research and Development domain.