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September 16, 2009

Rasgon Named Innovator of the Year

Jason Rasgon

Jason Rasgon, PhD, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, was named a 2009 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record.

Nominated by a Bloomberg School colleague, Rasgon was selected for his work identifying AgDNV, a previously unknown virus that infects Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers of human malaria. This discovery could one day be used to pass on new genetic information to A. gambiae as part of a strategy to control malaria, which globally kills more than one million people annually. 

Rasgon, along with 23 other area individuals and organizations, was selected by a panel of Maryland business and community leaders based on the originality, power, challenge and value of their innovation.  Recipients will be honored on October 14 during a reception hosted at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

“It is an honor to be named as one of Maryland’s Innovators of the Year and I am especially grateful for the support of my many colleagues from the Bloomberg School of Public Health who assisted in this discovery,” said Rasgon. “Although these concepts are many years away, this discovery could help us eradicate the disease by producing a lethal toxin in the mosquito or instruct the mosquito to die after 10 days, which is before it can transmit the malaria parasite to humans.”

The Daily Record initiated the Innovator of the Year program seven years ago to recognize Maryland individuals and organizations who have demonstrated the spirit of innovation by creating products, services or programs that benefit business, industry or communities.

Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhshp.edu.