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.
1. Valecha N, Savargaonkar D, Srivastava B, Rao BH, Tripathi SK, Gogtay N, Kochar, SK, Kumar NB, Rajadhyaksha GC, Lakhani JD, Solanki BB, Jalali RK, Arora S, Roy A, Saha N, Iyer SS, Sharma P, Anvikar AR , Comparison of the safety and efficacy of fixed-dose combination of arterolane maleate and piperaquine phosphate with chloroquine in acute, uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax malaria: a phase III, multicentric, open-label study. Malar. J.15, 42 (2016).
2. Mishra N, Prajapati SK, Kaitholia K, Bharti RS, rivastava B, Phookan S, Anvikar AR, Dev V, Sonal GS, Dhariwal AC, White NJ, Valecha N. Surveillance of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in India using the kelch13 molecular marker. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 59, 5:2548-53 (2015)
3. Singh R, Savargaonkar D, Bhatt R M, Valecha N. Rapid detection of Plasmodium vivax in saliva and blood using loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay. Journal of Infection, 67, 3, 245-247 (2013)
4. Mishra N, Singh JP, Srivastava B, Arora U, Shah NK, Ghosh SK, Bhatt RM, Sharma SK, Das MK, Kumar A, Anvikar AR, Kaitholia K, Gupta R, Sonal GS, Dhariwal AC, Valecha N. Monitoring antimalarial drug resistance in India via sentinel sites: outcomes and risk factors for treatment failure, 2009-2010. Bull World Health Organ, 90, 12, 895-904 (2012)
5. Shah N K, Dhillon GPS, Dash AP, Arora U, Meshnick R Steven and Valecha N. Antimalarial drug resistance of Plasmodium falciparum in India: changes over time and space. Lancet Infect Dis. 11, 1, 57-64 (2011)
6. Valecha N, Looareesuwan S, Mårtensson A, Abdulla SM, Krudsood S, Tangpukdee N, MohantyS, Mishra SK, Tyagi PK, Sharma SK, Moehrle J, Gautam A, Roy A, PaliwalJK,Kothari M, Saha N, Dash AP, Björkman A. Arterolane, a New Synthetic Trioxolane for Treatment of Uncomplicated P. falciparum Malaria: A Phase II Multicentric Randomized Dose Finding Clinical Trial. Clin Infect Dis, 51: 684-691 (2010)
7. Valecha N, Phyo AP, Mayxay M, Newton PN, Krudsood S, Keomany S, Khanthavong M, Pongvongs T, Ruangveerayuth R, Uthaisil C, Ubben D, Duparc S, Bacchieri A, Corsi M, Rao BHK, Bhattacharya PC, Dubhashi N, Ghosh SK, Dev Vas, Kumar A, Pukittayakamee S. An open-label, randomised study of Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine versus artesunate-mefloquine for falciparum malaria in Asia.PLoS one, 5, 7 (2010).
8. Valecha N, Srivastava P, Mohanty SS, Mittra P, Sharma SK, Tyagi PK, Pradhan K, Dev V, Singh R, Dash AP, Sharma YD. Therapeutic efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine in uncomplicated falciparum malaria in India. Malaria J, 8,107 (2009).
9. Valecha N, Joshi H, Mallick PK, Sharma SK, Kumar A, Tyagi PK, Shahi B, Das MK, Nagpal BN, Dash AP. Low efficacy of chloroquine: Time to switch over to artemisinin-based combination therapy for falciparum malaria in India. Acta Trop, 111, 1, 21–28 (2009).
10. Valecha N, Sharma VP, Devi CU. A Rapid Immunochromatographic Test (ICT) for Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ,30, 257-260 (1998).
Dr. M.O.T. Iyengar Memorial Award -2011 of Indian Council of Medial Research (ICMR)Indian Medical Association’s Diamond Jubilee IDPL Oration Award on “malaria control in India challenges and opportunities” at 89th All India Medical Conference on 27th December 2014 at Ahmadabad
Award of excellence conferred by Association of Entomologists at International Conference of Entomology on 21st February 2014, at Punjabi University, Patiala.
Awarded the Fellowship of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), 2013
Prof B.K. Das Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in biology as Biologist conferred by Zoological Society of India at Global Meet of Biologists on 26-28 December, 2012 at Hyderabad.
Smt. Bela Devi Oration on “Current Perspectives on diagnosis and treatment of malaria” conferred at annual CME of East Delhi Physicians Association on 16th December 2012 at New Delhi
Bayer Environmental Science Award and Medal for outstanding contribution in Vector Borne Diseases for the year 2009