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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; Interim Director of the Center for Vaccine Development & Global Health (CVD)


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 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 resource-limited countries in Africa and Asia, and has dedicated nearly two decades 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, epidemiological studies and a Fogarty training grant, that support her collaboration with colleagues throughout the US, Europe and Africa.

Her current research focuses on the impact of infections, including malaria and HIV, during pregnancy on infant immunity and early childhood development, 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.

Dr. Laufer directs the Malaria Research Program at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health. ‌‌The Malaria Research Program develops and applies innovative scientific tools to fight global infectious diseases, eliminate malaria and train the next generation of scientists. Recognizing that progress requires interdisciplinary and international partnerships now and in the future, we work in collaboration with researchers across the globe  and focus on training  young scientists and clinical investigators to build research capacity both in the US and in malaria-endemic countries.

As the Director of the Office of Student Research for the School of Medicine, Dr. Laufer also supports and promotes the didactic and hands on experiential research training for all medical students.

Research/Clinical Keywords

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

Highlighted Publications

Cohee LM, Valim C, Coalson JE, Nyambalo A, Chilombe M, Ngwira A, Bauleni A, Seydel KB, Wilson ML, Taylor TE, Mathanga DP, Laufer MK. School-based screening and treatment may reduce P. falciparum transmission. Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 25;11(1):6905. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-86450-5. PMID: 33767384; PMCID: PMC7994823.

Laurens MB, Mungwira RG, Nampota N, Nyirenda OM, Divala TH, Kanjala M, Mkandawire FA, Galileya LT, Nyangulu W, Mwinjiwa E, Downs M, Tillman A, Taylor TE, Mallewa J, Plowe CV, van Oosterhout JJ, Laufer MK. Revisiting Co-Trimoxazole Prophylaxis for African Adults in The Era of Antiretroviral Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 21:ciab252. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab252. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33744963.

Chitnis CE, Schellenberg D, Vekemans J, Asturias EJ, Bejon P, Collins KA, Crabb BS, Herrera S, Laufer M, Rabinovich NR, Roestenberg M, Shearley A, Tinto H, Wentworth M, O'Brien K, Alonso P. Building momentum for malaria vaccine research and development: key considerations. Malar J. 2020 Nov 23;19(1):421. doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-03491-3. PMID: 33228666; PMCID: PMC7682132.

McCann RS, Cohee LM, Goupeyou-Youmsi J, Laufer MK. Maximizing Impact: Can Interventions to Prevent Clinical Malaria Reduce Parasite Transmission? Trends Parasitol. 2020 Nov;36(11):906-913. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2020 Sep 9. PMID: 32917511; PMCID: PMC7581555.

Divala TH, Mungwira RG, Mawindo PM, Nyirenda OM, Kanjala M, Ndaferankhande M, Tsirizani LE, Masonga R, Muwalo F, Potter GE, Kennedy J, Goswami J, Wylie BJ,  Ndovie L, Mvula P,  Mbilizi Y, Tomoka T, Laufer MK. A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of  Chloroquine as Chemoprophylaxis or Intermittent Preventive Therapy to Prevent Malaria in Pregnancy in Malawi. Lancet Inf Dis. 2018 Sept 5.

Buchwald AG, Sixpence A, Chimenya M, Damson M, Sorkin JD, Wilson ML, Seydel K, Hochman S, Mathanga DP, Taylor TE, Laufer MK. Clinical implications of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infection in Malawi. Clin Infect Dis 2018 May 16.

Boudova S, Divala TH, Mungwira R, Mawindo P, Tomoka T, Laufer MK. Placental but not peripheral Plasmodium falciparum infection during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of malaria in infancy. J Infect Dis. Sept 2017:216(6):732-735

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.

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.

View a complete list of Dr. Laufer’s publications 

Additional Publication Citations

Cohee LM, Laufer MK. The unanticipated benefits of protecting young children from malaria. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 Sep;19(9):918-919. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30285-3. Epub 2019 Jul 12. PMID: 31307884.

Divala TH, Cohee LM, Laufer MK. The remarkable tenacity of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 May;19(5):460-461. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30796-5. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PMID: 30922819.

Awards and Affiliations

Joseph Augustine LePrince, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  In recognition of outstanding work in the field of malariology.

J. Tyson Tildon Award for Pediatric Research, University of Maryland School of Medicine

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

The impact of in utero HIV exposure on infant T and B cell responses in Malawi

Long-term neurocognitive outcomes of HIV-exposed uninfected children

Reservoirs of transmission: Targets for Malaria Control Interventions

Interdisciplinary malaria research training in Malawi

Mentoring and patient-oriented research in malaria

Characterizing malaria vector competence among natural populations of Anopheles

In the News

Professional Activity

World Health Organization,  Malaria Vaccine Advisory Committee

World Health Organization, Global Malaria Programme, Guidelines Development Committee

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: Board of Directors, Program Committee

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society: International Affairs Committee, Nominations and Awards Committee


Links of Interest