Episode Summary

The malaria parasite, Plasmodium, is transmitted to people through mosquito bites. The parasite needs to infect humans to undergo the morphologic transitions important for its lifecycle, but it also needs to infect mosquitoes to be able to complete its lifecycle.

Dr. Gunnar Mair is an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University who studies mosquito-borne transmission of malaria. Dr. Mair talks about why breaking the transmission cycle by focusing on mosquitoes will help reduce global malaria, how a multi-pronged approach is necessary to eradicate this disease, how public health efforts coordinating drug administration have been effective, some of the hurdles that impede vaccine development, and how his interest in alpine ecology eventually led him to study parasitology.

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Jimmy Chonga, a college football star who comes down with a disease while trying to navigate his multiple girlfriends.


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Gunnar Mair, Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
  • Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Kirsten Hanson, Ph.D. (UTSA
  • Marley Caballero, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Lauren Bonnett (UTSA)
  • Shakara Penix (UTSA)

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