In order to make sound public health decisions, clinical evidence is essential. We must synthesize an array of different types of information from diverse sources, to produce the best estimates of the health consequences and economic costs of different interventions and programs. The scarcity of real world data on malaria case management limits confidence in the current model’s outputs.
Sponsored by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Global Health Institute, and thirteen additional Harvard co-sponsors, the inaugural January 30, 2013 Harvard Malaria Forum centered on business approaches to global malaria.The event served as the university ‘launch’ of the Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe effort and featured key business leaders and was attended by over 150 students, faculty, and guests from across the University.
The 2011 Rethinking Malaria Leadership Forum and Science of Eradication Symposia served as a ‘call to arms’ to develop new approaches for collaboration and partnership; to examine global governance issues; to identify and borrow technologies from other areas of basic and applied research (e.g., electronics, information technology, engineering); to help foster new methodologies, financial models, scientific approaches, training mechanisms and previously untapped skill sets; and to harmonize health services and cross-training of the healthcare workforce to eradicate malaria.
As part of an effort to expand current research and training efforts in these important areas, Dr. N. Regina Rabinovich was named the ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence at Harvard University in 2012. Prior to joining Harvard, she served as Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2003-2012), overseeing the development and implementation of strategies for the prevention, treatment, and control of diseases of particular relevance to global health, including malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and neglected infectious diseases.
As part of the Defeating Malaria effort, Dr. Rabinovich is spearheading a global malaria governance project in collaboration with faculty at the Harvard Institute for Global Health.
Convened on April 7, 2016 the third annual Harvard Malaria Forum: the Promise & Peril of New Vaccines, centered on a discussion of the next frontier in vaccine development for infectious diseases by examining the current state-of-the-art for HIV, TB, Malaria, and Cancer vaccines. As part of the forum, Harvard faculty joined with leaders from the global research community and experts from Boston-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to discuss and explore the knowledge base of natural infections and modern vaccine approaches. Professor Judy Liebermann (pictured above), Chair, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, provided an overview of how the lessons from cancer immune therapy can be applied to vaccine development for malaria.
The Case for Investment in Malaria
The Center for Health Decision Science, a school-wide center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, aims to inform health policies and practices by integrating scientific evidence with explicit consideration of individual and societal values. The goal is to improve critical outcomes including mortality, quality of life, and cost.
This work, together with the efforts of faculty and students at the Harvard Business School, can provide a better understanding of the total investment required to address the malaria challenge. This business case for investment can be a tool to address the complexity of issues involved, and facilitate alignment on priorities among key stakeholders, such as global communities, businesses, state leaders, and donors.
World Malaria Day: Sustaining Success and Saving Lives
Malaria is preventable, treatable and curable. Yet it continues to have a devastating impact across Africa. For more than a decade, ExxonMobil has been working to help drive lasting change and build a better future for communities in the region by investing in the fight against malaria.
Through ExxonMobil’s longstanding work in Africa, they’ve seen first-hand the huge toll malaria takes. Despite progress in recent years, malaria continues to kill 445,000 people a year, many of them children living in sub-Saharan Africa. That means an African child dies from malaria every minute.
In recognition of World Malaria Day 2013 (April 25), Suzanne McCarron, President, ExxonMobil Foundation, describes the company’s role in combatting global malaria.
Harvard Malaria Forum
Malaria eradication will require close collaboration and understanding between scientific experts, policy makers and implementers. The annual Harvard Malaria Forum convenes multidisciplinary experts at critical junctures where information needs to be synthesized to effect a global or regional decision, or to establish a policy or research agenda. A primary objective of the Forum is to facilitate the prioritization of issues at the nexus of world health and globalization and incorporate the perspectives of both the health and non-health public and private sectors.
Business Approaches to Global Malaria
The inaugural Harvard Malaria Forum was sponsored by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Global Health Institute on January 30, 2013 at HKS. Centered on the topic Business Approaches to Global Malaria, the forum drew on the expertise of both Harvard faculty working in the fields of business and public health, and experts from the private and public sectors. Hosted by Thomas Healey, Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and moderated by Rajesh Garg, Director, McKinsey & Co, the event included Suzanne McCarron, President, ExxonMobil Foundation; Jane Nelson, Senior Fellow and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, HKS; Regina Rabinovich, ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence, Harvard University; Daniel Stern, Co-CEO, Reservoir Capital Group; Naohiro Takahashi, President, Sumitomo Chemical America; Jay Winsten, Associate Dean for Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: and Dyann Wirth, Professor and Chair, Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Examining knowledge gaps and major biological and clinical roadblocks
Julio Frenk, former Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health welcomed participants to the Harvard Malaria Forum.
Rethinking R&D in the New Era of Malaria Eradication
The 2013 Harvard Malaria Forum addressed the timely and important topic of advancing innovation in malaria research and development. Hosted at the Harvard Club of Boston, the event included a public forum featuring talks by Pedro Alonso, WHO’s Director of the Global Malaria Programme, Ashley Birkett, Director, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Flaminia Catteruccia, Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thierry Diagana, Head, Drug Discovery Unit, Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, Manoj Duraisingh, Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Nick Hamon, CEO, Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), Joseph Lassiter, Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, HBS, and David Reddy, CEO, Medicines for Malaria Venture. The event was hosted by Dyann Wirth, Professor and Chair, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The Promise & Peril of New Vaccines
The 2016 Harvard Malaria Forum, held on April 7, brought together experts across multiple sectors to discuss the next frontier in vaccine development for HIV, TB, Malaria, and Cancer. Based on genomic study findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), speakers highlighted the potential long-term impact of the new RTS,S vaccine – the first malaria vaccine. As described in the NEJM article, an international research team – led by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Broad Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and other leading institutions – harnessed sophisticated molecular tools and analysis methods to probe the underlying biology of RTS,S, helping to explain how it protects against a disease that kills roughly half a million people each year, mostly infants and young children in Africa. Immunologists with knowledge of Cancer and HIV vaccine design approaches also proposed ways to accelerate vaccine development for infectious diseases through the use of novel, immunotherapeutic approaches. Read more here.