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Developing resistance-proof antimalarials

Burnet Institute

23 October, 2013

Director s seminar

Macquarie University's Dean of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Professor Simon Foote with Professor Brendan Crabb.

One of Australia’s leading geneticists, Professor Simon Foote, has presented his latest work on host-parasite interactions and the development of resistance-proof antimalarials at Burnet’s latest Director’s Seminar.

Macquarie University’s Dean of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Professor Foote spoke to a packed audience of staff and students at Burnet.

“Antimalarial drugs are directed against the parasite and the parasite develops resistance,” Professor Foote said.

“We are using knowledge of the parasite-host interaction to develop drugs that interrupt this by targeting the host, not the parasite. These drugs should be more ‘resistant’ to resistance.”

Professor Foote explained that by using a genetic approach using mice, he and his team would uncover novel mechanisms underlying the host response to malaria infection.

He explained that this work would lead to a new approach in developing antimalarial drugs that avoided the resistance problem evident with today’s antimalarial drugs.

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