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McGill awarded $1-million grant to address debilitating parasitic diseases in the developing world
Date:1/24/2011

This release is available in French.

McGill University and McGill University scientist Dr. Timothy Geary received a $1-million grant today for landmark research into addressing parasitic diseases through medicines derived from African biodiversity. Grand Challenges Canada, Canada's International Development Research Centre, The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have joined together to support this important research which provides a significant Canadian contribution to a serious global health issue.

More than 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world's population, suffer from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which cause disfigurement, disability and even death in the developing world. Dr. Geary's research focuses on parasitic worms, or helminths, which live inside the body. Diseases such as hookworm, river blindness and elephantiasis cause stunted growth and cognitive impairment in children, horrific debilitating and disfiguring symptoms in adults, and make escaping the cycle of poverty virtually impossible.

"While there have been advances in the past few years in providing drugs to control the disease, there is so much more that can be done to eliminate NTDs and bring hope to many for a better future," said Dr. Geary, Director of the Institute of Parasitology at McGill. "The drugs we plan to develop through this research will combat growing resistance to existing therapies, an important next step in the treatment and control of parasitic disease."

Dr. Geary's breakthrough research, conducted in partnership with Dr. Eliane Ubalijoro of the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill, focuses on identifying compounds from African botanical and microbial sources that can lead to new drugs to eliminate parasitic worms from the body. In this approach, he works in partnership w
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Contact: Vronique Perron
veronique.perron@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
613-952-5746
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Source:Eurekalert

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