Jonathan Juliano, MD, MSPH, associate professor of medicine, has been asked to join the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network’s (WWARN) Scientific Advisory Committee.
(Republished from the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care Newsroom.)
Jonathan Juliano, MD, MSPH, associate professor of medicine, has been asked to join the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network’s (WWARN) Scientific Advisory Committee. WWARN was formed in 2009 with the mission to generate innovative tools and reliable evidence to inform the malaria community on the factors affecting the efficacy of antimalarial medicines. The network is part of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory at the University of Oxford. In his new role, Juliano will advise on WWARN’s scientific priorities, strategy, and activities and promote new partnerships and collaborations.
Juliano is a global leader in the study of malaria genomics and the evolution of drug-resistant infections. He has pioneered the use of advanced genetic methodologies, including next-generation sequencing, to study malaria. His research focuses on the epidemiological and evolutionary factors that shape parasite populations and drive parasite genetic diversity. Juliano’s group was the first to describe the impact of minority variant malaria strains, those that occur at extremely low frequencies in individuals infected by multiple parasite strains, on antimalarial resistance. Using deep sequencing approaches, Juliano’s group pioneered new techniques that have revolutionized studies of malaria parasite diversity.
In recent years, he has considered the evolution of resistance to the standard artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) in Asia and Africa. In Cambodia, he has collaborated with Jessica Lin, MD, assistant professor of medicine at UNC, and in-country researchers to study the evolution of resistance to ACT regimens. In Africa, Juliano conducted the first large-scale molecular survey to determine whether mutations associated with artemisinin resistance exist in the region. He is continuing this work through a collaboration with Steven Meshnick, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and in-country investigators in Tanzania and Kenya to describe African parasite strains that clear more slowly after treatment with ACT. Through his work in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology Laboratory (IDEEL) at UNC, he collaborates with researchers at UNC and global partners in over a dozen countries to address malaria and other threats to global health.