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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Vanderbilt Receives Gates Foundation Grant to Develop Wristband “No Fly Zone” to Prevent Malaria

Dr. Laurence J. Zwiebel, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Molecular Biology and professor of biological sciences and pharmacology, was awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


[Photo: Dr. Laurence J. Zwiebel]

His team will pursue “New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission”. Dr. Zwiebel’s bold idea is to develop a wearable insect-repellant device that creates a personal “no fly zone” that protects people against mosquitoes, tsetse flies, and other biting insects that spread deadly and debilitating diseases. The concept of a wrist- or ankle-band that would emit a colorless, odorless protective shield is the outgrowth of previous research into the mosquito’s sense of smell performed by Dr. Zwiebel and an international team of collaborators with the support of the foundation’s original Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. This approach broadens potential for prevention which previously has been focused on interventions like bednets and mosquito eradication.

Dr. Zwiebel’s project is one of more than 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 14 grants announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more from this story here. Read more about Dr. Zwiebel’s submission to the Grand Challenges in Global Health here.