New opportunities for collaboration with partners in Panama.

Published: 5 December 2019

Professor Matt Marti explores new opportunities for malaria research and education.

Panama and Scotland have a number of things in common, including population size. They also share a colourful history dating back to the Darien Scheme by the Scottish Kingdom in the late 17th century. While the enterprise was short lived, its failure contributed to the Union of Scotland with England in 1707. Remains of the “Scottish port” and the settlement of “New Caledonia” are still present on the shores of the Caribbean Sea at San Blas islands.

For the past 10 years Professor Matt Marti has been collaborating with Dr Nicanor Obaldia III and colleagues at the Gorgas Memorial Institute in Panama City. With support from the Panamanian Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT), they study the epidemiology and transmission of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax in remote areas of Panama. During the last ten years, Panama has seen a significant decline in malaria incidence and the country aims to eliminate P. falciparum and P. vivax within the next decade. 

Matt Marti Panama - news 2019Dr Obaldia visited WCIP for training and research for several months during 2017-2018. This October, Professor Marti visited Panama to continue their research in malaria epidemiology at the Gorgas Memorial Institute with collaboration of the Ministry of Health in several malaria endemic regions in the Darien and Veraguas provinces.

The visit in October with representatives from SENACYT and the Gorgas Institute officials was an opportunity to discuss further collaborations between University of Glasgow, the Gorgas Institute and SENACYT. There is great interest for new collaborative agreements in research and education, including a joint symposium on infectious diseases and non-communicable disease in Panama, as well as further visits to Scotland by SENACYT and Gorgas representatives.



First published: 5 December 2019