Eliminating Malaria: Unraveling the Mysteries of Parasitic Transmission and Metamorphosis

ACS Webinars
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Plasmodium parasites that cause Malaria infect hundreds of millions each year, but we still lack a full understanding of how they transmit from host to host and the conditions that enable Plasmodium parasites to multiply inside the liver before assaulting the body.

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Learn about efforts to illuminate these processes and reveal parasitic vulnerabilities that can be exploited in new drugs to combat this deadly disease. Emily R. Derbyshire of Duke University will share how her lab employs chemical biology, biochemistry and genomics to develop small molecule probes, gene sequencing technologies and forward genetic screens that can observe the metamorphosis of Plasmodium in liver cells and reveal biological processes critical to this elusive developmental stage of the infection.

Then, discover why new Malaria drug discovery must go beyond the pathogenic stages of the disease and be equally effective at targeting and suppressing transmission if there is hope to reduce reinfection and spread of drug resistance. Lyn-Marié Birkholtz of the University of Pretoria will describe the principles of antimalarial drug discovery that prioritizes transmission-blocking in candidates, including how her lab measures a block in the transmission of the parasite from the human host to the mosquito, the ideal profile of a transmission-blocking candidate, specific requirements in the physicochemical properties of such candidates, and development and deployment challenges.

This ACS Webinar is moderated by Jeremy Burrows from the Medicines for Malaria Venture and is co-produced with ACS Publications.

What You Will Learn

  • The Plasmodium parasite metamorphosis that leads to malaria
  • How Plasmodium parasites hijack human cells
  • How chemical probes can aid in the discovery of parasite vulnerabilities
  • What is the antimalarial drug discovery landscape to ensure blocking of malaria parasite transmission?
  • How transmission-blocking drugs should be used
  • Can we use transmission-blocking drugs as a starting point to discover antimalarial compounds with polypharmacology as irresistible candidates?

Webinar Details

  • Thursday, April 25, 2024 @ 11am-12:30pm ET
  • Free to register with ACS ID
  • Slides will be available on the day of the live event

Additional Resources

  •  In recognition of World Malaria Day, view the 2023 Collection that showcases the ongoing global research efforts to combat malaria. On April 25, ACS Publications will publish a new Collection that highlights recent advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria.
  • The link to the 2024 Collection will be active on April 25

Co-Produced With


Lyn-Marié Birkholtz
Professor of Biochemistry & South African Research Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control, University of Pretoria

Emily R. Derbyshire
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Duke University

Jeremy Burrows
VP & Head of Drug Discovery, Medicines for Malaria Venture

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