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International research network nominated for ‘Oscar of higher education’

7 September 2017

The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) has been shortlisted for a 2017 Times Higher Education (THE) Award in the ‘International Collaboration of the Year’ category. 

Known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, the THE Awards recognise “the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life”. The ‘International Collaboration of the Year’ category acknowledges “exceptional projects carried out jointly between a UK institution and one or more international partners”.

WWARN is a collaborative research network that works to provide the information necessary to optimise antimalarial treatments, in turn, reducing the number of people falling ill and dying from malaria. WWARN works with over 260 collaborators across the world. The Network is part of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), based at the University of Oxford.

The nomination recognises the results of two research projects that have led to international policy changes to help improve the outcomes of those treated with an important antimalarial medicine, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP).  

The first project found that, although DP was effective, young children were at a greater risk of treatment failure. The second project found that a revised dose regimen would enable the safe treatment of all malaria patients with DP, including young children. Based on this evidence, the World Health Organization updated their treatment guidelines for DP. The projects, both published in PLoS Medicine, brought together researchers from 51 institutes across 27 countries.

Prof Philippe Guérin, Director of IDDO said: “This award nomination recognises the ongoing efforts of the many researchers who work tirelessly to ensure that malaria patients receive the most effective treatment possible. The projects involved pooling data from numerous clinical trials so that we could see the effect of DP on young children; this wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation and participation of many collaborators. The nomination reflects the power of data-sharing in a trustworthy international collaboration to answer critical global health research questions.”

Hundreds of applications were submitted across 19 categories covering the full range of university activity. The full shortlist for all 19 categories is published in today’s Times Higher Education and is also available on the awards website: www.the-awards.co.uk.

John Gill, THE editor, said: “Once again these awards have attracted hundreds of entries from the length and breadth of the nation, and from institutions of every hue. All those shortlisted can be immensely proud to have made it through this first phase, and we at Times Higher Education look forward to honouring the winners for their talent, creativity and commitment at a time for the academy when these qualities are increasingly essential.

The winners will be announced on Thursday 30 November 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, at an awards ceremony that will be attended by politicians, senior sector figures, and academic and professional university staff.