NIH awards UGA researchers $2.6 million to fight African sleeping sickness

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NIH awards UGA researchers $2.6 million to fight African sleeping sickness

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $2.6 million to University of Georgia researchers to develop new drugs to treat human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness.

“There are immense challenges in understanding trypanosome biology because a significant number of their genes are not found in humans or yeasts, which are more intensely studied,” said Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, professor in the department of cellular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences whose team was awarded the NIH grant. “Using chemical biology tools to identify disease-relevant genes in the parasite, we discovered a small-molecule that prevents duplication of the nucleus in a trypanosome, and arrests proliferation of the parasite.”

Collaborators in the UGA-led consortium are Andrei Purmal of Cleveland BioLabs Inc. and Michael Pollastri, department of chemistry and chemical biology at Northeastern University.

Read the full article on  UGA Today.