R. Geigy Foundation-Award 2006,
Country: Spain, born: 1959
"Investing in institution-building and in the training of young scientists are investments in the future. It enhances mutual trust and provides the basis for successful research partnership."
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 800,000 people die from malaria each year. It affects mainly expectant mothers and children under the age of five. Clara Menéndez is a key figure in malaria research and mother and child health. An important discovery emerging from her work is the fact that high maternal and child mortality during pregnancy is not due primarily to complications in childbirth, but rather because of lasting physiological damage resulting from severe episodes of diseases such as AIDS, malaria or bacterial infections. Menéndez's research into malaria prevention and the treatment of newborns and infants has strongly influenced the health policy of African countries. Menéndez is a project leader at ISGlobal and a professor at the University of Barcelona in Spain. She spends a lot of time in Africa, where she conducts large-scale intervention studies to improve the health of mothers and children.