Malaria is one of the leading killers in the world today. Though drugs against malaria have a long history, attempts to develop novel therapeutics spanned the twentieth century and continue today. In this historical study, Leo B. Slater shows the roots and branches of an enormous drug development project during World War II. Fighting around the globe, American soldiers were at high risk for contracting malaria, yet quinine–a natural cure–became harder to acquire. A U.S. government-funded antimalarial program, initiated by the National Research Council, brought together diverse laboratories and specialists to provide the best drugs to the nation's military. This wartime research would deliver chloroquinine–long the drug of choice for prevention and treatment of malaria–and a host of other chemotherapeutic insights.
A massive undertaking, the antimalarial program was to biomedical research what the Manhattan Project was to the physical sciences.
A volume in the Critical Issues in Health and Medicine series, edited by Rima D. Apple and Janet Golden.