By Dr. Rebeca Carballar-Lejarazú, University of California Malaria Initiative (UCMI)

Innovative genetic research is paving the way for groundbreaking solutions to combat vector-borne diseases including malaria, a persistent global health challenge that has seen a concerning rebound in incidence since 2015 due to emerging threats such as insecticide and antimalarial treatment resistance.

The University of California Malaria Initiative (UCMI) is a collaborative group of discovery scientists exploring novel tools including gene drive technologies to modify mosquito populations and contribute to the elimination of malaria. In our recent study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), we demonstrated the potential of a dual effector gene strategy to mitigate malaria transmission from mosquitoes.