Synthesis, characterization and isolation of compounds active against malaria and leishmaniasis
Malaria and leishmania, both types of protozoan diseases, are prevalent in developing countries where deployed soldiers may become exposed to the vectors that can carry them. There are an estimated one to three million deaths attributed to malaria annually, which is expected to increase as the parasite develops resistance to known first line anti-malarial drugs in use today. Leishmania, in contrast, is rarely fatal but causes disfiguring lesions where it’s vector, the sand fly, bites and infects humans and other mammals. Leishmaniasis has few known effective drugs that work against the disease. Our goal is to develop new chemical compounds that display activity against either the malaria or leishmaniasis parasite in order to replace old or misused drugs that have developed resistance to either or both parasites. Compounds will be created, isolated, and purified using structure activity relationships with known anti-malarial and anti-leishmaniasis drugs and organic synthesis techniques; the compounds will then be analyzed against malaria and leishmania growth inhibition assays. Compounds will also be tested to assess their human toxicity profile. Compounds that show enhanced activity and or reduced toxicity will be selected for in vivo animals tests. We will form research collaborations with LTC Waters in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences at West Point and the Division of Experimental Therapeutics-Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Point of Contact:
MAJ William McCalmont, Ph.D.
Bartlett Hall Room 400B