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Malaria Research Team Awarded $2 Million NIH Grant

February 23, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Drexel University College of Medicine a two million dollar grant for a four-year project to investigate molecular pathways targeted by antimalarial pyrazole compounds. These compounds were first discovered by a research team from Drexel.

"Our team is very grateful to the NIH for granting us this major award, which will allow us to continue our investigations into this compound," said Akhil B. Vaidya, PhD, professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and director of the Center for Molecular Parasitology, who is the principal investigator of the study. "The work we are doing here is honing in on new drugs, with a novel mechanism of action, for the prevention and treatment of malaria."

This is a global research effort with the Drexel University College of Medicine team collaborating with an international group of investigators in the United States, Australia, Singapore and Switzerland for preclinical development of a potentially new antimalarial drug. The Drexel team also consists of Lawrence W. Bergman, PhD, professor; Sandhya Kortagere, PhD, assistant professor; Joanne Morrisey, research instructor; and Thomas Daly, research instructor; all from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Over the last three years, the team's drug discovery and development work has been supported with a one million dollar grant from Medicines for Malaria Venture, a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.