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December 20, 2007

Jacobs-Lorena Named “Scientific American 50” for Transgenic Mosquito Research

jacobs_lorenaMarcelo Jacobs-Lorena, PhD, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI), was honored as one of Scientific American magazine’s “SciAm 50” for his work toward developing genetically-modified mosquitoes resistant to malaria. The annual award recognizes 50 individuals, teams and organizations whose accomplishments in research, business or policymaking demonstrate outstanding technological leadership.

In March 2007, Jacobs-Lorena and his JHMRI colleagues published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which demonstrated that modified mosquitoes, resistant to malaria, could thrive in the laboratory. These genetically engineered (transgenic) mosquitoes lived longer and produced more eggs compared to wild-type mosquitoes when fed malaria-infected blood. Theoretically, mosquitoes resistant to malaria could be introduced into nature to replace malaria-carrying mosquitoes as one piece of a broader strategy to control the spread of malaria.

The complete list of winners appears in the January 2008 issue of Scientific American.--Tim Parsons

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.