News & Events

Graduate Student Presentation – Kristof Cank

Posted on October 17, 2018


Date - October 17, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


PhD Literature Seminar
Title: Targeting FREP1: A New Approach for Antimalarial Drug Development
Advisor: Dr. Nicholas Oberlies


With an estimated 216 million new cases and 445,000 deaths in 2016 worldwide, malaria still exists as a major global health problem. Out of the four most common Plasmodium species, Plasmodium falciparum is considered responsible for the vast majority of human deaths caused by malaria.  Despite the increasing number of antimalarial drug developments and current antimalarial healthcare tools, there is a significant mortality rate. In addition, resistance against almost all types of antimalarial drugs has already emerged through decades. Hence, there is an unmet need to further expand antimalarial strategies and to discover new pharmaceutical leads. Lately, research efforts have been focused on developing drugs that kill malaria parasites in the blood stage. Blocking malaria transmission by targeting Fibrinogen-related protein (FREP1) with a small molecule offers a novel approach to combat the disease without killing the mosquito. An ELISA based method has been employed to screen a fungal extract library to identify promising leads which can significantly reduce P. falciparum infection intensity in Anopheles gambiae.