MSU researcher to use $8.4M grant to fight effects of malaria

EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A Michigan State University professor is getting a large grant to help fight the deadly effects of malaria.

Terrie Taylor, a MSU University Distinguished Professor of internal medicine and an osteopathic physician, will use an $8.4 million grant from the National Institute of Health to continue to develop her malaria treatment research she first published in 2015.

Taylor and her team discovered children with cerebral malaria develop massively swollen brains that are forced through the base of the skull.

That swelling compresses the brain stem, causing the child to stop breathing and die.

Taylor found that the swelling does go down after a few days and ventilators to help the children breathe the likelihood of survival can increase.

Though medical researchers have developed effective drugs to kill the malaria parasite, efforts to treat the effects of the disease have been unsuccessful.

If Taylor’s treatments are successful they will be the first developed for cerebral malaria.

“Cerebral malaria kills a child every two minutes,” Taylor said. “We, as a global community, should be concerned and support efforts to save these children even as we try to eradicate the disease.”

Since 1986 Taylor has been spending six months of every year in the African country of Malawi, conducting malaria research and treating children.

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