THE MALARIA PROJECT:
The U.S. Government’s Secret Mission to Find a Miracle Cure
by Karen M. Masterson
2014, 406 pages, 16 pages of b/w photo plates with multiple images. A fascinating and shocking historical exposé, read the story of America’s secret mission to combat malaria during World War IIa campaign modeled after a German project which tested experimental drugs on men gone mad from syphilis.
American war planners, foreseeing the tactical need for a malaria drug, recreated the German model, then grew it tenfold. Quickly becoming the biggest and most important medical initiative of the war, the project tasked dozens of the countrys top research scientists and university labs to find a treatment to remedy half a million U.S. troops incapacitated by malaria.
Spearheading the new U.S. effort was Dr. Lowell T. Coggeshall, the son of a poor Indiana farmer whose persistent drive and curiosity led him to become one of the most innovative thinkers in solving the malaria problem. He recruited private corporations, such as today’s Squibb and Eli Lilly, and the nations best chemists out of Harvard and Johns Hopkins to make novel compounds that skilled technicians tested on birds. Giants in the field of clinical research, including the future NIH director James Shannon, then tested the drugs on mental health patients and convicted criminalsincluding infamous murderer Nathan Leopold.
By 1943, a dozen strains of malaria brought home in the veins of sick soldiers were injected into these human guinea pigs for drug studies. After hundreds of trials and many deaths, they found their magic bullet, but not in a U.S. laboratory. America ‘s best weapon against malaria, still used today, was captured in battle from the Nazis. Called chloroquine, it went on to save more lives than any other drug in history.
This book provides a truly riveting tale, and is well documented in a Notes section. Hardcover; 6 x 9″.
About the Author – Karen Masterson researched this book while serving as an in-house malaria expert and writing coach at the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank. She was a national reporter for the Houston Chronicle’s Washington Bureau, and environmental reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s South Jersey Bureau.
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