(October 4, 2021) Professor Paul Carlier and his collaborators at the University of Georgia and Max Totrov, a computational chemist at Molsoft, have received a $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled, “Optimization of antimalarials targeting multiple life stages of the parasite”. With the support from the grant, the team will continue testing and optimizing two inexpensive and effective antimalarial drug candidates that were identified by the group in previous studies.

Malaria is caused by a Plasmodium parasite transmitted by mosquitos. After the parasite enters the bloodstream, it infects red blood cells and can develop from the asexual stage into the sexual stage as a gametocyte. At this stage, the parasites produce eggs and sperm to continue its life cycle. The compound Carlier and his group will be testing has the potential to kill the parasite both before it develops into its sexual stage as well as gametocytes.

To read more about the research this grant will fund, read the VTx article here.

To read the full abstract, visit the NIH’s page here.