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Burkinabé vector biologist wins Royal Society award

Research on tools to eradicate mosquito swarms responsible for the spread of malaria has won a scientist from Burkina Faso the Royal Society Pfizer Award for 2013.

Abdoulaye Diabate was presented with the £60,000 (US$96,500) prize on 4 November. As well as this research funding there is a £5,000 personal reward.

Diabate will use the award to research male mosquito mating behaviour. This will help researchers engineer sterile insects in order to control the spread of malaria.

Diabate said the Royal Society Pfizer Award, which is given only to African researchers, helps boost high quality research in Africa and empowers the continent’s research institutes.

“It will also allow me to acquire the skills and knowledge that can help us win the battle against malaria,” he said.

Diabate is the head of the medical entomology laboratory of the Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé, Centre Muraz, Burkina Faso. He got his masters degree at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and his PhD on insecticide resistance at the University of Montpellier, France.

Diabate is the eighth winner of the annual award.