Using Big Data to Study Cerebral Malaria Pathogenesis
Malaria remains a major scourge of humankind. Cerebral malaria (CM), a serious complication of a malaria infection, continues to kill one African child every minute and leaves one in three survivors with epilepsy or other neurobehavioral sequelae. No effective adjunctive therapies have been identified, but a greater understanding of CM pathogenesis could narrow the focus. There were two focuses of this research: (1) building a statistical database that integrated various clinical information from more than three thousand CM patients in Malawi and Congo; other duties included data cleaning, data harmonization, development of a data dictionary, and missing data imputation; (2) conducting functional data analyses and designing statistical models, based on the database and digitized transcranial doppler images collected from those CM patients, to identify important clinical phenotypes. To further the research, we are planning to marshal the integrated database and improve our current framework for functional data analyses to gain more insights into complicated CM pathogeneses.