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photo credit: Ben Ho
Every year, malaria kills more than one million people, many of them children. Benjamin Ho wants to help reduce that number. A medical student at the University of Minnesota, Ho studies the way our bodies react to malaria. He hopes his work will lead to a vaccine to protect people from this deadly disease.
The human immune system fights off malaria and other diseases with antibodies—special molecules in the blood that develop in response to an infection. Vaccines trick the immune system into building antibodies before the infection occurs, allowing our body to stop the disease before it even gets started.