“Hoffman rolled up his sleeve and pressed the container—mesh side down—to the inside of his forearm. He felt a tickling sensation as the mosquitoes pricked his skin. Five minutes later, he removed the canister; an Army scientist examined the mosquitoes to confirm that each had sucked Hoffman’s blood. Five other volunteers did the same.

“For the next several days, Hoffman and the other volunteers bit their nails and hoped the vaccine would keep them healthy. (Those who come down with the disease are given drugs to kill the parasites.) By day ten, three volunteers were sick, but Hoffman and two others felt fine. Excitement began to swell; no injected malaria vaccine had come close to 50-percent protection—and this was its very first trial. ‘We thought we were going to win the Nobel Prize,’ Hoffman says.”

– In the Washingtonian, Luke Mullins profiles Dr. Stephen Hoffman, who has been trying to develop a malaria vaccine for the last 30 years. He hasn’t given up. Read more about vaccines.


Photo by: NIAID

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