Francois Nosten trained as a medical doctor in France. He joined Médecins Sans Frontières in 1982, and worked for the organization in emergency humanitarian aid projects in Equatorial Guinea, Uganda and Thailand until 1986.
In 1986 he joined the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit (MORU) – research collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand – to lead its field unit along the Thai-Burmese border, the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU). As Director of the SMRU since 1986, he has overseen the conduct numerous clinical studies on the burden, the treatment and the control of malaria and other infectious diseases affecting Burmese refugees and Burmese migrants living along the Thai-Burmese border. Under Francois leadership, the SMRU has spearheaded development of new malaria treatment strategies, notably the artemisinin-based combination therapies that are now the mainstay of national treatment programs in all malaria endemic countries around the world.
Every year, the SMRU provides in its border clinics over 150,000 consultations and hospital admissions for Burmese refugees and migrants, providing state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of multiple infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, as well as comprehensive mother and child health care services.
Francois is an author of over 400 articles in scientific journals. A professor of tropical medicine at Oxford since 2006, he was awarded the Chalmers Medal by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2002, the Prix Christophe and Rodolphe Merieux in 2008 and the TWAS Regional Price for Science Diplomacy in 2014. He was made fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Honorary International Fellow of ASTMH in 2013 and Chevalier dans l’ordre de la Legion d’Honneur in July 2015.
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