Our work at the CDC Foundation for Target Malaria 

Posted 19th May 2023 by Priscila Bascunan Garcia

Target Malaria activities in the USA are hosted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the main campus adjacent to Emory University. They are administered by the CDC Foundation under the Division of Parasitic Diseases and the Malaria and Entomology Branch. 

Target Malaria at CDC backs up several genetically modified mosquito strains and conducts regulatory research to compare modified to wild mosquitoes for important characteristics, such as insecticide resistance, and ability to transmit certain pathogens. Target Malaria maintains and uses in vitro Plasmodium falciparum parasites, and o’nyong nyong virus for such experimental vector competence tests. The development of strains with different genetic backgrounds is also performed, and their genetics and phenotypes are investigated.  

Target Malaria at CDC also supports various aspects of African insectary operations and field activities such as training, advice, insectary audits and developing standard operating procedures. 

I coordinate the laboratory and insectary activities of the Target Malaria team at the CDC. That includes hiring and training new staff to ensure that the mosquito colonies backed up at our facilities are healthy and properly monitored. With the support of the Regulatory Team, we design and plan regulatory studies on transgenic strains. I oversee and take part in them as well, and conduct data analysis, and report writing. I also take care of shipping requests for other teams, as well as maintain communication with other Target Malaria groups and collaborators outside the project.