60 secs with… Prof Arjen Dondorp


Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m trained as an infectious diseases and intensive care physician, and developing ICU [intensive care unit] care in developing countries is an interest of mine. I’ve been living here, in Bangkok, for the last 15 years. During that time, I’ve mainly been doing research on both uncomplicated and severe falciparum malaria, a disease that requires intensive care in hospital. Over the last ten years or so, I’ve developed a strong interest in antimalarial drug resistance, which is an increasing problem here in the region – again.

Challenges of collecting cord blood control samples in The Gambia


At the Medical Research Centre in The Gambia we have been working on the best way to add to our collection of controls samples. The aim is to maximize the potential of the severe malaria cases that we are contributing to the MalariaGEN Consortial Project 1.

To match the severe malaria cases we needed to increase the number of controls in our collection by approximately 2000. Having carefully considered the ethical issues associated with collecting such samples from healthy children we decided to use cord bloods.

Obtaining informed consent for family trios in Cameroon


At the University of Buea we are performing a family trio study to investigate the genomic basis of resistance against malaria for Consortial Project 3. For this study we needed to identify families where the mother, father and child were all willing to participate. To do this we faced multiple challenges around designing appropriate informed consent processes.

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