Mission Statement:

The University of California Irvine, Malaria Initiative (UCIMI) seeks to promote the discovery and development of novel science for the goal of malaria eradication.

This mission is accomplished by providing the necessary intellectual, resource and infrastructure support to test novel genetics-based, sustainable technologies to prevent malaria transmission.

The featured activities include development and field-testing of genetically engineered strains of malaria vector mosquitoes in collaboration with scientists and public health personnel from disease-endemic countries.

Vector population alteration strategies (also known as population replacement or modification) employ genes designed to interfere with malaria parasite transmission coupled with highly efficient gene-drive systems. These strategies will play a crucial role in the malaria eradication agenda by providing resistance to parasite and competent vector reintroduction, and will allow resources to be focused on new sites while at the same time providing confidence that treated areas remain malaria-free.

Our goal is to conduct a field trial of a population alteration strain with the objective of local malaria elimination in Africa. A parallel outcome is the capacity building that allows local and regional scientists and public health personnel to adapt and deploy population alteration strategies. Strategic development is needed in;

(1) The development of population alteration mosquito strains

(2) Field-site selection

(3) Trial design and implementation.

The UCIMI provides the organizational structure to successfully complete these activities. Working hand-in-hand with thought-leaders, scientists, public health personnel and government, we expect to lay the foundation for eradicating a disease that affects hundreds of millions of people globally every year.

Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AI070654, NS029870, AI29746 and AI116433) the W.M. Keck Foundation,  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

And…The University of California, Irvine Malaria Initiative