Scheme: Sir Henry Dale Fellowship
Organisation: MRC National Institute for Medical Research
Dates: Jan 2013-Jan 2018
Summary: Malaria is a devastating infectious disease that affects half of the world population and kills around one million people every year, mostly children under five. The most troubling aspects of this disease are the widespread resistance of the malaria parasite to most front line drugs and the rapid emergence of resistance against new therapies. It is therefore extremely urgent to identify new pharmaceutical targets to develop effective treatments. Proteases are one of the most promising pharmac eutical targets for drug development because they regulate a variety of biological processes. Malaria proteases are required throughout the parasite life cycle. In particular, we have identified a specific protease (DPAP3) that controls the release of parasite from infected red blood cells (RBCs) and that might be involved in RBC invasion. Therefore, DPAP3 is an ideal target to block these processes. The goal of this project is to understand how DPAP3 controls the release of parasites from RB Cs and the invasion of RBCs.