International Clinical Trials Unit
The International Clinical Trials Unit within the Division of Malaria Research of the Center for Vaccine Development conducts human studies of malaria epidemiology, vaccines and therapeutics to increase knowledge of malaria transmission, immunology, prevention and treatment in areas where malaria circulates. Current projects include a clinical study of a novel whole organism malaria vaccine, a trial of a non-attenuated malaria parasites given under prophylaxis as a vaccination strategy, evaluation of malaria prophylaxis in persons living with HIV, studies of malaria risk and burden in vulnerable groups, and a study of genetic determinants of severe malaria. The International Clinical Trials Unit collaborates with partners in endemic areas, industry, other academic institutions, and funding organizations to conduct studies using the highest standards of good clinical practice. Focused areas of research include evaluation of vaccine-resistant malaria and the genetic basis of vaccine escape, serological profiling of populations exposed to malaria, and evaluation of potential correlates of malaria protection.
The unit is led by Dr. Matthew Laurens, an infectious diseases physician with training in pediatrics and public health. Dr. Laurens mentors young investigators and trainees at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
and at international clinical trial sites that are supported through the Center for Vaccine Development.