Navigation Links
Virginia Tech scientists out for blood when it comes to stopping malaria

Fighting malaria in today's world will require a new, targeted approach, and Virginia Tech researchers are out for blood.

The parasites responsible for the mosquito-borne infectious disease are increasingly resistant to current drug approaches, and almost half of the world is at risk of contracting an illness.

Maria Belen Cassera, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a Fralin Life Science Institute affiliate, examines the metabolism of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum in order to identify new drug targets.

Her newest project, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, will look at the crucial time when malaria is transmitted when reproductive cell precursors known as gametocytes develop.

Specifically, she wants to understand the role that specific metabolites called isoprenoids play in the early stages of development.

"We think that understanding the role of isoprenoids during gametocytogenesis and identifying metabolic steps absent or sufficiently different from its human host will allow us to design more efficient drugs to block malaria transmission, which is one of the key components for malaria elimination and eradication," Cassera said.

The metabolic pathways that the parasite uses are not found in humans, so pathway-specific drugs would have little effect on the human host.

"Dr. Cassera has taken a leap forward in malaria research by identifying a unique pathway at an essential step in parasite development and transmission to mosquitoes," said Vern Schramm, the Ruth Merns Chair and Professor of Biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and former postdoctoral mentor to Cassera. "Dr. Cassera is one of a select few scientists who can work productively at the level of parasite biochemistry, biology, drug discovery, transmission, and even primate models of the disease. Her talents have been justly recognized by support from the NIH."

Cassera is a member of the Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery, the Virginia Tech Vector-borne Disease Research Group, and the department of basic science at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

She is also involved with the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health graduate program as part of Virginia Tech's new faculty of health sciences.


Contact: Lindsay Taylor Key
Virginia Tech

Related medicine news :

1. Healthy Back Store Confirms Closure of East Tyson’s Virginia Location
2. New TGen, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center study targets non-small cell lung cancer
3. TrueShred Partners With Virginia Commerce Bank To Host Shred Events and Securely Shred Documents and Files.
4. Hormone Replacement Clinic, Renew Health and Wellness Opens in Richmond, Virginia. New Center Specializes in Anti-Aging Therapies for both Women and Men.
5. Virginia Weight Loss Center "Best of the Best" Awarded to Obesity Surgery Center and to Dr. Osvaldo Anez by Follow Media Consulting, Inc.
6. Weight Loss Virginia "Best of the Best" Awarded to Obesity Surgery Center and to Dr. Osvaldo Anez by Follow Media Consulting, Inc.
7. Ring in the Noon Year at the Science Museum of Virginia
8. Worldwide Internet Sensation and Ashland Musician George Dennehy Performs at the Science Museum of Virginia
9. Marriage Counseling Virginia "Best of the Best" Awarded to Good Neighbor Community Services by Follow Media Consulting, Inc.
10. Virginia Hearing Consultants Now Makes Getting Hearing Aids in Norfolk, VA Easier With Complimentary Hearing Screenings
11. Counseling Virginia "Best of the Best" Awarded to Good Neighbor Community Services by Follow Media Consulting, Inc.
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Virginia Tech scientists out for blood when it comes to stopping malaria
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Cold Shoulder , LLC launched their Pro Vest, the ... and hit their goal of $20,000 in under 10 hours. , The ... new PRO Weight Loss Vest to the market. , The PRO Vest provides consumers with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... award at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CU-KC), in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, ... Chiropractor and University President Carl S. Cleveland III on October 16. , “Katie ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Baltimore, M.D. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... a new award for its exceptional customer service: the TrustDale certification. The award ... experience. The Baltimore stone honing , tile and grout, and hard surface ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Bibliomotion ... and Detroit Taught Me about Reinvention and Diversity by Nancy M. Schlichting, ... suffer, with hospitals failing to adequately address the needs of patients and their families, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family chiropractor in ... less this holiday season. During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D deficiency can ... team at AlignLife want to help provide the tools needed to combat it this ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and BERN, Switzerland , ... the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research of the ... the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of ... the start of an exclusive collaboration to develop a ... algorithm for the personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 ...  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 th , ... present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution at the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 The uptake of recently ... be a key driver of market growth to 2021, ... approved and pipeline premium products for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), will ... says GBI Research . --> The uptake of ... will be a key driver of market growth to 2021, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: