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While only around 15 per cent of the Trust's total grant expenditure goes towards international programmes, developing country health is a key element of this funding. Today, the Trust remains a leading supporter of research in tropical medicine. Over the last ten years it has invested more than £100 million on research into malaria alone, and has supported a number of key initiatives aimed at strengthening the research base in order to improve the prospects of effectively tackling outstanding problems of prevention, treatment and control. The Trust's expenditure on malaria significantly exceeds that on any other infectious disease.
The Trust supports a broad spectrum of research on malaria, including: genome sequencing; the biology of the parasite and mosquito; new vaccines and drugs; clinical research to improve treatment and to understand the pathology of the disease; disease transmission and epidemiology; health services research; and health policy research.
The research is funded both overseas – particularly in countries experiencing the full impact of malaria disease – and in the UK.
The funding programmes support researchers at all stages of their careers – from junior fellows to principal researchers – and provide career progression. The major overseas centres in Africa and South-east Asia act as training centres for scientists from developing countries, and the Wellcome Trust Centres for Research in Clinical Tropical Medicine provide UK bases for training.