Silvia Portugal receives the Bailey K. Ashford Medal
The medal for mid-career researchers was awarded at the annual meeting of the Amercian Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene
On October 30, Lise Meitner Group Leader Silvia Portugal was awarded the Bailey K. Ashford Medal at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (AMSTH) in Seattle. Silvia Portugal received the medal for her research on the biology of malaria parasites and specifically her contribution to understanding the interactions between the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its host in a seasonally changing environment.
Silvia Portugal heads the research group Malaria Parasite Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. Her research focuses on the strategies and mechanisms that allow the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to survive the dry season in human hosts without causing malaria symptoms. In regions with a seasonal change between rainy and dry season, clinical malaria cases usually only occur in the rainy season, when mosquitos are abundant. Subclinical malaria infections can persist through the dry season and act as a reservoir for resumed transmission in the ensuing rainy season. Understanding how the malaria parasite forms this reservoir that enables renewed transmission every year is an important step to achieving the best possible malaria control.
About the Bailey K. Ashford Medal
The Bailey K. Ashford Medal is presented by the AMSTH to a member of the society for “distinguished work in tropical medicine” and customarily given to mid-career researchers. Bailey Ashford was an American physician and the first to describe and successfully treat infections with the north american hookworm. His discovery was followed by an extensive medical campaign in Puerto Rico, in which Ashford organized the treatment of over 300.000 patients. The first Bailey K. Ashford Medal was awarded in 1941 by the AMSTH.