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Friday, June 02, 2017
Division of Malaria Research Director Recognized for Global Child Health Research
Miriam K. Laufer, MD, MPH an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) , was awarded the J. Tyson Tildon Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research.
"Dr. Laufer is an outstanding scientist and mentor who is internationally recognized for her pioneering research on malaria in people living with HIV, pregnant women, and schoolchildren," said Christopher V. Plowe MD, MPH, FASTMH, the Frank M. Calia MD Professor of Medicine and Founding Director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Global Health (IGH).
Dr. Laufer, who directs the IGH’s Division of Malaria Research, is a pediatric infectious disease specialist with primary research interests in malaria and global child health. She has conducted research, clinical care and professional education in several countries, but has dedicated the past 15 years to working in the African country of Malawi. She currently serves as the principal investigator for clinical trials and epidemiological studies throughout the country, and her current research focuses on malaria during pregnancy and its impact on infants, the interaction between HIV and malaria and identifying sources of malaria transmission.
“Here at the University of Maryland Department of Pediatrics we care for children who cannot advocate for themselves, we help children and families who are underserved and marginalized. With my colleagues from the Institute for Global Health, we seek out new discoveries to save the lives of children the world has forgotten about,” Dr. Laufer said after receiving the award on May 25.
“By watching her I have learned the importance of doing what you love, being persistent, being hardworking and adaptable, focusing on the big picture and the value of collaboration and investing in a network of smart people that you trust,” said Sarah Boudova, PhD, an MD/PhD student who conducted her research with Dr. Laufer.
Dr. Laufer also serves as the Associate Director for Global Health for IGH, leading outreach efforts throughout UM SOM and the entire University of Maryland system to support and promote global health research. Her laboratory explores the application of molecular epidemiology tools to address critical issues related to malaria pathogenesis, disease burden and drug resistance. She also directs the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at UM SOM, where promising pediatric infectious disease physician-scientists are trained in clinical care and research.
The IGH, established in 2015 at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is dedicated to improving global health by conducting innovative, world-leading research in Baltimore and around the world. Led by Founding Director Christopher Plowe, the institute develops new and improved ways of diagnosing, preventing, treating, controlling, and eradicating diseases of global impact. Currently, these diseases include malaria, Ebola, and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases such as measles.
Celebrating its 210th Anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world.