Malaria Researcher Wins Mahathir Science Award

Professor Alan Cowman of the University of Melbourne has won the 2013 Mahathir Science Award in Tropical Research.

AsianScientist (Nov. 13, 2013) – Professor Alan Cowman of the University of Melbourne has won the 2013 Mahathir Science Award in Tropical Research for his contributions to understanding malaria.

The Mahathir Science Award, given annually by The Mahathir Science Award Foundation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, recognizes scientists and institutions worldwide that solve problems of the tropics through science and technology. The winner receives a gold medal and US$100,000.

The announcement was made by Mahathir Science Award Foundation chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid last week, and the official prize-giving ceremony will be held in 2014.

Professor Cowman was chosen from 29 nominees across 11 countries for his studies into how the Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria develops drug resistance as well as the biology of how malaria parasites invade and remodel red blood cells in humans.

His work has led to the development of two potential malaria vaccines, one of which is in clinical trials in the US and the other in preclinical development.

“Malaria is a devastating disease in tropical and sub-tropical regions, infecting more than 200 million people worldwide,” said Professor Cowman. “The Mahathir Science Award in Tropical Medicine is an outstanding accolade for the many scientists I have collaborated with at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and beyond who have made possible the advances we have made in understanding malaria.”

Professor Cowman is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Australian Academy of Science. He recently won the 2013 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation and the 2013 Eureka Prize.


Source: University of Melbourne; Photo: Gamma Man/Flickr/CC.
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