On March 31, Dr. Thomas Wellems, member of the US National Academy of Science, chief of the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research NIH, visited GMU and gave a lecture entitled “Scientific Discovery and Malaria Interventions for Global Health”, which was chaired by President Wang Xinhua.
Dr. Thomas Wellems started the talk with Millennium Development Goals of the United Nation, introduced malaria control in Africa, important scientists and drugs. Many scientists have persistently researched for numerous years, and Dr.Wellems praised their efforts throughout the presentation. “Only those with vision, stubbornness, and persistence will stay”. Then Dr.Wellems briefed on four approaches of Malaria prevention: vector control for malaria, effective and affordable antimalarial medicines, rapid diagnostic tests and vaccines.
Dr.Wellems in particular mentioned Tu Youyou, the 2015 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of Artemisinin (Qinghaosu) from Traditional Chinese Medicine. He focused on the effects and contributions of artemisinin on malaria and saving lives. As urbanization develops important strategy for malaria control, he stressed that society needs to break the health-poverty trap.
During the Q&A section, Dr. Wellems had exciting interactions revolving around malaria research with GMU students. After the lecture, Dr. Wellems visited the Sino-French Hoffmann Institute of Immunology with Prof. Peng Tao.
Dr. Thomas Wellems, chief of the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research NIH, has published over 100 papers on top academic journals such as Cell, N Engl J Med, Nature, and Science. In 2007, Dr. Wellems received the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) sanofi-aventis U.S. Award and was selected as member of the US National Academy of Science.