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Worcester Polytechnic Institute Receives NIH Grant to Study Components of a Potentially Potent and Cost-Effective Malaria Treatment
Date:7/15/2014

comes an effective plant-based combination therapy,” Weathers said. “Through this study, we hope to develop a better understanding of what compounds in the plant may be involved in making artemisinin more bioavailable.”

While the NIH-funded project progresses, Weathers is also working with several groups in Africa and the United States to establish a new economic model for using whole plant therapy to combat malaria. She envisions local operations where farmers grow the high-producing cultivars of Artemisia that she and others have developed as a supplemental crop and deliver the leaves to processing stations, where they would be dried, pulverized, and homogenized, and where the powder would be placed in capsules or compacted into tablets for distribution to local populations.

“The beauty of all this is that the plant is easy to grow in most areas and the production process is relatively simple,” Weathers said. “It could be an important boost for local economies and for the health of local populations.”

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 35 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia
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