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History of Medicine

Getting Started

These are a few selected resources in the history of malaria.  Search the online catalog and journal articles indexes for more.

The Malaria Site

Choosing Scientific Patrimony: Sir Ronald Ross, Alphonse Laveran, and the Mosquito-Vector Hypothesis for Malaria. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 57, Number 4, October 2002, pp. 385-409

Malaria and the Peopling of Early Tropical Africa. Journal of World History, Volume 16, Number 3, September 2005, pp. 270-291

Robert Sallares. Malaria and Rome: A History of Malaria in Ancient Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

National Library of Medicine's Digital Collections contains videos related to malaria: interviews with scientists and health professionals; military health education vidoes; health promotion videos for general audiences; and more.

Current malaria research includes studies of the genetics of malaria. Genomics tools like Malaria Genome Exploration Tool (MaGnET) and the UCSC plasmodium browser for the malaria parasite are used by modern researchers.

Army Medical Research Project Bibliography

From the 1940's to the 1960's, researchers at the University of Chicago did research on malaria under the sponsorship of the Army. This bibliography contains the major publications resulting from this research:

Bibliography of Papers from the Army Medical Research Project, University of Chicago

The experiments described in many of the articles in this bibliography took place at Stateville Penitentiary using inmates as subjects. This practice raised questions about the nature of informed consent and the regulation of human subjects research. The following is a short selection of readings focused on these questions:

James B. Jacobs. Stateville: The Penitentiary in Mass Society (Studies in Crime and Justice). University of Chicago Press, 1977

Prison malaria: Convicts expose themselves to disease so doctors can study it. (1945). Life Magazine, 4 June, 43-46. (Includes images.)

Comfort, Nathaniel. "The prisoner as model organism: malaria research at Stateville Penitentiary," Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci, 2009 September; 40(3): 190–203. (Published online 2009 August 4. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2009.06.007)

Harcourt, Bernard E. Making Willing Bodies: Manufacturing Consent Among Prisoners and Soldiers, Creating Human Subjects, Patriots, and Everyday Citizens - The University of Chicago Malaria Experiments on Prisoners at Stateville Penitentiary. University of Chicago - Law School. February 6, 2011. U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 544 / U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 341

Hornblum, Allen M. "They Were Cheap and Available: Prisoners as Research Subjects in Twentieth Century America." BMJ 1997;315:1437-41

The Belmont Report: Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research (1979).  Health, Education, and Welfare. NCPHSBBR [National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office

Miller F.G. The Stateville penitentiary malaria experiments: a case study in retrospective ethical assessment. Perspect Biol Med. 2013 Autumn;56(4):548-67. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2013.0035. .

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Director, Humanities and Area Studies
Chemistry and Geophysical Sciences Librarian
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