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University of South Florida and Draper team to create advanced devices for testing malaria drugs
Date:2/8/2011

ts will be overseen by principal investigator Joseph Cuiffi, PhD, of the Draper Bioengineering Center at USF. They are working with John Adams, Ph.D., professor of global health at USF; Jeffrey Borenstein, Ph.D., a Draper physicist and biomedical engineer; and Joseph Charest, Ph.D., a Draper biomedical engineer. The original work on this technology at Draper was funded by the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology of which Draper is a founding member.

Dr. Adams is the principal investigator for a three-year Gates Foundation grant that brings together a worldwide network of leading investigators with the skills and resources needed to create long-term blood stage cultures of vivax malaria. This form of malaria has proven particularly difficult to grow and sustain in the laboratory. Dr. Adams is working with Dr. Cuiffi and Dr. Kyle, as well Dr. Jetsumon (Sattabongkot) Prachumsri of the Vivax Research Center in the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, and the Armed Forces Research Institute in Bangkok, Thailand; Dr. Peter Siba, director of the Papua New Guinea Institute for Medical Research; Dr. Louis Schofield, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute international research scholar at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia; and Dr. Osamu Kaneko at Nagasaki University in Japan.

"To be able to replicate and study the entire malaria infection process outside the body will be critical in developing new drugs with the potential to eliminate malaria," said Draper's Dr. Cuiffi.

Malaria, the Parasite Life Cycle, and Why Addressing the Liver Stage is Critical

Malaria affects 10 percent of the world's population, killing nearly one million people a year in developing countries and crippling their economies. Most who die or become ill are poor pregnant women and children under age 5 in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and South America.

In humans,
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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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