Dr Neena Valecha

Director of the National Institute of Malaria Research of ICMR India

Dr. Neena Valecha, M.D., F.A.M.S., Director of the National Institute of Malaria Research of ICMR, is an accomplished scientist with international reputation of excellence in malaria and clinical pharmacology. Malaria drug policy of India revolves around her work on drug development and drug resistance studies. Dr. Valecha initiated Nationwide sentinel system with National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme for monitoring antimalarial drug resistance. She introduced pharmacovigilance programme for antimalarials. Oral artemisinin monotherapy was phased out from India based on evidence generated by her.

She spearheaded the GCP trials of antimalarials in India. Her work has led to introduction of new antimalarials, namely alpha-beta arteether in the programme, registration of novel antimalarials bulaquine, fixed dose combinations namely artesunate-mefloquine, artesunate-amodiaquine, DHA-piperaquine and arterolane-piperaquine. Her leadership led to recognition of NIMR as WHO accredited lot testing laboratory for malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests.

She led studies on treatment and prevention of malaria in pregnancy and malaria disease burden in India. She is conducting Comprehensive Case Management project, which will lead the path to malaria elimination. Her leadership also guides the research on development of novel vector control tools and insecticide resistance monitoring and innovative technology for control for dengue.

She represents India in the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee, which is the highest committee providing independent advice to WHO. She is also a member of expert committees of CDSCO, DBT, ICMR, DST etc.

She has published more than 130 papers in high impact journals and is recipient of various awards including Dr. M.O.T. Iyengar award for her contributions to malaria research.