Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Married to malaria


Discuss malaria research in Brazil and the names Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig are likely to come up. Together in marriage and in the laboratory, the 76-year-old scientists have spent decades studying the disease and attempts to control it.

In 1967, for instance, Ruth Nussenzweig showed it is possible to immunise rodents against the disease by irradiating sporozoites, the form of the Plasmodium parasite that causes the disease.

In this interview with Marcos Pivetta in Revista da Fapesp, the Nussenzweigs discuss their research and the main challenges to controlling malaria in developing countries.

In the 1980s, the couple showed that one of the parasite's proteins could be used to evoke an immune response and provide some protection against infection. Since then, the same protein has been a key component of vaccines that have been developed, including a new one that has been achieving promising results in Africa.

The Nussenzweigs comment on life as a scientist in Brazil and the United States. The couple left Brazil when its period of military dictatorship began in the 1960s and moved to the United States, where they live now, working at New York University's School of Medicine.

Link to the full article in Revista da Fapesp (in Portuguese)
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.