Oct. 5, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 3

Biologist Shahabuddin Dies

Funeral services were held Sept. 22 for Mohammed Shahabuddin, an assistant professor in the Biology Department who died Sept. 21 after a long illness. He was 46.

Dr. Shahabuddin, a native of Bangladesh who joined the Biology faculty prior to the 2003-04 academic year, was an expert in disease transmission by insects. His research focused in particular on identifying crucial parasite and mosquito molecules that could be targeted to develop effective strategies for blocking transmission of malaria, which afflicts more than 500 million people, and kills nearly two million people annually, many of them children.

In 2004, Dr. Shahabuddin and DeLuca Professor of Biology Marc Muskavitch developed an Insectary in Higgins Hall to aid their study of insect-borne infectious diseases.

That same year, Dr. Shahabuddin was a presenter at the Boston Malaria-Mosquito Encounter, which offered a setting for an informal exchange of ideas among malaria and mosquito researchers in the Boston area.

As an investigator in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, Dr. Shahabuddin and colleagues identified a part of the insect immune system that naturally attacks malaria parasites. The research, detailed in a 2000 article he co-authored for Science, lent hope for the development of transmission-blocking vaccines and mosquitoes engineered to be parasite-resistant.

Dr. Shahabuddin held bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, and earned his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.

He is survived by his wife, Shahinoor Begum, and sons Maysarah and Muntasir.

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