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Intervention strategies against malaria

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The future fight against malaria

European research initiatives are bringing together the youngest and brightest to combat a worldwide affliction: malaria.

Health

The 'Intervention strategies against malaria' (Intermaltraining) project is an EU Seventh Framework Programme Marie Curie–funded Initial Training Network working to sustain leading European malaria research. Intermaltraining set up a broad-based educational programme to support basic research and bridge it over to effective malaria disease control. The 13-partner consortium linked 9 affiliated research laboratories and 4 industrial partners from 10 nations spanning Africa, Asia and Europe. The international training approach aims to bring 14 early-stage researchers (ESRs) to PhD level through collaboration on advanced malaria research. Each project is supervised by two principal investigators from different partner institutions (PIs) and countries; this lends the training programme a unique multidisciplinary and multicultural element. Applicants were initially attracted in mid 2008 through various advertising and publications initiatives until the programme's official launch in October 2008. The international recruitment efforts brought in almost 1\;000 applicants, from which 40 candidates were selected to go through a 2-day interview procedure. The Intermaltraining Supervisory Board, comprising all PIs and industrial partners, finally allocated appropriate projects to the 14 selected ESRs. Since 2009, ESRs have participated in various introductory and training workshops. 'Scientific writing and presentation' was held in January 2010 together with the programme's Qualifying Assessment where all ESRs presented their scientific progress. 'The enterprise world in biology 1', took place in May 2010 at the same time as the mid-term review. All progress reports and official Intermaltraining documents as well as milestones reached to date are available on the project's website. At the close of the project in 2012, Intermaltraining will have produced a group of international research scientists fully versed in fundamental research skills. Armed with the tools needed to apply biological knowledge to disease control strategies, the project's graduates will positively impact science in the battle against malaria.

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