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Miriam K. Laufer, MD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Medicine, Epidemiology & Public Health

Administrative Title:

Associate Director for Malaria Research


HSF1, Room 480

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-8695


(410) 706-2999

Education and Training

Dr. Miriam Laufer is Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health, and Faculty of the graduate program in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is director of the Malaria Research Program in the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD).  She received her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency in pediatrics at Babies and Children’s Hospital of New York (now New York Children’s Hospital) of Columbia University. She completed fellowships in pediatric infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University and in malaria research at the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland. She received her MPH from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.


Dr. Laufer is a pediatric infectious disease specialist, with a primary research interest in malaria and global child health. She has conducted research, clinical care and professional education in several resource-limited countries, but has dedicated the past 15 years to working in Malawi. She and her research team use clinical and laboratory research to develop and evaluate interventions to decrease the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. She currently serves as Principal Investigator for clinical trials and epidemiological studies throughout Malawi.

Her current research focuses on malaria during pregnancy and its impact on infants,  the interaction between HIV and malaria and identifying reservoirs of malaria transmission. Her laboratory at the University of Maryland explores the application of molecular epidemiology tools to address critical issues related to malaria pathogenesis, disease burden and drug resistance. She also directs the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where the most promising pediatric infectious disease physician-scientists are trained in clinical care and research.

Dr. Laufer serves as the Associate Director for Global Health at the Institute for Global Health. She leads outreach efforts throughout the School of Medicine and the entire University of Maryland campus to support and promote global health research.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Malaria, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Global Health, Pregnancy, Maternal-Child Health, HIV Co-infection, School age children, Public Health.

Highlighted Publications

Divala TH, Mungwira RG, Laufer MK. Moving targets: The challenges of studying infectious diseases among pregnant women in resource limited settings. Vaccine. Nov 25;33(47):6401-5, 2015. PMC4920047.

Walldorf JA, Cohee LM, Coalson JE, Bauleni A, Nkanaunena K, Kapito-Tembo A, Seydel KB, Ali D, Mathanga D, Taylor TE, Valim C, Laufer MK. School-Age Children Are a Reservoir of Malaria Infection in Malawi. PLoS One Jul 24;10(7):e0134061, 2014. PMC4514805.

Gilliams EA, Jumare J, Claassen CW, Thesing PC, Nyirenda OM, Dzinjalamala FK, Taylor TE, Plowe CV, Tracey LA, Laufer MK. Chloroquine-azithromycin combination antimalarial treatment decreases risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal tract infections in Malawian children. J Infect Dis. Aug 15;210(4):585-92, 2014  PMID: 24652498

Laufer MK, Takala-Harrison S, Dzinjalamala FK, Stine OC, Taylor TE, Plowe CV. Return of chloroquine-susceptible falciparum malaria in Malawi was a re-expansion of diverse susceptible parasites. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 202(5):801-9, 2010. PMC3380613.

Laufer MK, Thesing PC, Eddington ND, Masonga R, Dzinjalamala FK, Takala SL, Taylor TE, Plowe CV. Return of chloroquine antimalarial efficacy in Malawi. New England Journal of Medicine 255:1959-1966, 2006. PMID 17093247.

Awards and Affiliations

Alpha Omega Alpha

Teaching Commendation, Host Defenses and Infectious Diseases

Global Health Faculty Award, Center for Global Health Initiatives, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Grants and Contracts

(Selected federal grants)

“Interdisciplinary malaria research training in Malawi” (Principal Investigator) NIH D43TW010075

“Mentoring and patient-oriented research in malaria” (Principal Investigator) NIH K24AI114996

“Randomized, open-label controlled trial of daily trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or weekly chloroquine among adults on antiretroviral therapy in Blantyre, Malawi” (Principal Investigator) NIH U01AI089342

“Determinants of Malaria Disease in Malawi, International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research” (Project Leader) NIH U19AI089683

In the News

Professional Activity

America Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine: Program Committee and Young Investigator Award Committee

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society: Research Committee and International Affairs Committee

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: Section Editor