The University of South Florida Department of Chemistry and the USF Global Health Department have collaboratively earned multiple grants for the continuation of research in antimalarial pharmaceuticals this semester.
USF Chemistry professor Dr. Roman Manetsch and USF Global Health professor Dr. Dennis Kyle together earned two National Institute of Health (NIH) Research Project Grants this September, totaling over $2.5 million for research during the next five years.
Malaria is an extremely infectious, life-threatening disease that is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes. The parasitic disease causes nearly one million deaths and affects over 240 million people each year according to Roll Back Malaria.
The newest NIH grant earned by USF is titled “Drugs targeting erythrocytic and exoerythrocytic stages of malaria.” It provides the research group with $1.3 million over the next five years.
The grant awarded to USF for the project Manetsch and Kyle developed focuses on several compounds that have demonstrated potential for activity against all stages of parasitic development.
Research will focus on the development of drugs that block the relapse of dormant parasites and that can prevent transmission of the disease to mosquitoes.
“These new developments have elevated USF to one of the top research programs in the country with regards to the development of novel antimalarial pharmaceuticals,” said Dr. Randy W. Larsen, professor in the USF Department of Chemistry.
Research is still ongoing, though major breakthroughs are anticipated in the near future.