Black Scholar at MIT Looks for New Ways to Fight Malaria

Worldwide, more than 1 million people die each year from malaria. The disease is treatable by drugs such as chloroquine and artemisinin. But increasingly the parasite that causes malaria is becoming resistant to these common treatments.

Armed with a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Jacquin C. Niles, an assistant professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is developing new methods for treating the disease. Using genetic engineering, Niles hopes to “turn off” the parasite’s genes that cause it to reproduce and spread throughout the human body.

Professor Niles holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in molecular toxicology from MIT. He also is a graduate of Harvard Medical School.