Infectious Insights Blog

Time for Summer (Science) Reading!

With Memorial Day here, summer is just around the corner. It’s time to kick back, enjoy the sunbreaks and read! We polled IDRI to see what people are reading (and what they’d recommend) from the science perspective. Chris Fox recommends “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” By Siddhartha Mukherjee, which follows the disease from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago to the continued modern-day fight to find a cure. Chronicling Mao’s famous campaign against snail fever, “Farewell to the God of Plague: Chairman Mao’s Campaign to Deworm China” by Miriam Gross is “a bit dry” says Darrick Carter. But, he added it’s a good read about schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that IDRI is teaming up with collaborators to develop a vaccine against. Tanya Parish reports that she just started reading “Factfulness” by the late Hans Rosling, the man who made data and statistics come to life through [...]

May 22nd, 2018| |

The World’s Most Dangerous Creature

When asked about the deadliest creatures in the world, thoughts often turn to sharks, snakes or even lions. But the list is topped by a tiny, buzzing insect that packs a powerful punch: the mosquito, which transmits parasites that cause malaria, one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, there has been tremendous progress in controlling malaria, but that that progress has stalled and numbers have increased. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, an increase of 5 million cases over 2015. Nearly half a million people died of malaria. But, together, we can change that. Today (April 25) is World Malaria Day. The theme is “Ready to Beat Malaria,” which underscores the collective responsibility and commitment of the global malaria community in bringing together people working toward a world free of malaria. At IDRI, we join WHO [...]

April 25th, 2018| |

Dan Stinchcomb: The Passing of a Global Health Leader

The world lost a tremendous advocate for global health with the passing of Dan Stinchcomb, PhD, IDRI’s Chief Scientific Officer, who died Feb. 21 after a brief illness. In a short time, he made a tremendous impact on IDRI’s work with his deep expertise in the field of viral diseases and passion for finding new solutions for those diseases. Dan is well known for his expertise in flaviviruses, having developed a vaccine against Dengue and leading a number of projects at IDRI, including the development of novel RNA-based vaccines. Dan, who joined IDRI in 2016 as a Senior Vice President before being promoted to CSO in 2017, will be missed in so many ways – from his leadership skills to his mentorship of up-and-coming scientists. Those who knew Dan loved his incredibly positive attitude, deep voice, unique laugh and excitement for new ideas and projects. Dan received his PhD from Stanford University [...]

March 14th, 2018| |

Here’s One Thing to Do on Sunday

As World Leprosy Day rolls around this year on Sunday, Jan. 28, we have much to be excited about from the scientific standpoint. In October, IDRI announced that our promising leprosy vaccine candidate – the first vaccine developed specifically for this debilitating disease – is now in Phase 1 clinical trials in humans. And I’m pleased to say that the trial, which is taking place here in the U.S., is now fully enrolled. Characterized by the World Health Organization as a “neglected tropical disease,” leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is one of the most ancient diseases known to humankind, and we are still trying to bring this disease to an end. While we do have great news to report about progress towards new solutions for leprosy, there is still much to be done as outlined in a recent article called “Ten Failings in Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Control.” On that [...]

January 26th, 2018| |

IDRI’s 6th annual Geek Gift Guide

The clock is ticking; the pressure is on. It’s time to buy holiday gifts! The question is: what are you going to get your favorite geek? As a scientific organization, IDRI is full of self-proclaimed geeks who have a few ideas to share in IDRI’s 6th annual “Gifts for Geeks” guide. Many of this year’s suggestions follow a food-related theme -- perfect for the wanna-be chef in your life! Bryan Berube suggests The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. “If you are a scientist who doesn’t know how to cook, this book is for you,” said Berube, a postdoctoral scientist in IDRI’s Tuberculosis Discovery Research group. “The author performs scientifically controlled experiments to substantiate or debunk traditional kitchen lore. This cookbook goes into great detail about the science behind cooking and allows you to truly understand what you’re doing in the kitchen.” For the chemist in your crowd, Eduard Melief, [...]

December 6th, 2017| |
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