Professor Carrion and BUSM/BUSPH Colleagues Awarded CDC Grant to Reduce Burden of Parasitic Infections

Malwina Carrion, MPH, a lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences, is a co-PI on a new
five-year cooperative agreement, with a maximum award of $1 million, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study Chagas disease. This is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Carrion and co-PI Dr. Natasha Hochberg, an associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), with Dr. David Hamer, a professor of global health and medicine at BUSM and BUSPH, serving as co-investigator. The research aims to improve provider access and knowledge of Chagas disease and increase screening among at-risk populations.

Chagas disease, a vector-borne infection caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is endemic to Mexico, Central, and South America. There are approximately 300,000 cases of Chagas in the United States and nearly 10 million people infected worldwide. An estimated 100 million people across the globe are at risk for the disease.

The award is part of the CDC funding opportunity: “Reducing The Burden Of Parasitic Infections In The United States Through Evidence-Based Prevention And Control Activities.” The Boston University project, “Implementing Novel Strategies for Education and Chagas Testing (INSECT),” will focus on improving healthcare provider knowledge and awareness about Chagas disease across the United States. The team will also roll out screening programs for at-risk populations, including a focus on women of childbearing age to prevent congenital transmission.

Previously, Carrion has led and managed public health projects and research in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, and the US. Her research focuses on innovative infectious disease surveillance, screening and treatment programs, disease and vector control, and neglected tropical diseases.