UVA School of Medicine Faculty News Weekly Round-Up
• Biologist Probes How Stubborn Malaria Bug Adapts to Evade Drug Treatments
About half a million people die each year from malaria, mostly children under the age of 5 who have not developed the ability to fight off the parasite that causes the disease. The danger zone is largely along Earth’s equatorial band, affecting about 3.2 billion people in large regions of Africa, South America and Asia.
“Many people in the developed world believe that the malaria problem has been largely solved, but in fact millions of people are infected and get sick each year,” said Jennifer Güler, a University of Virginia biologist who studies the malaria parasite’s ability to develop drug resistance. “It’s an ongoing problem.”
Working with researchers in UVA’s School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Güler is investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the parasite’s ability to evolve genetic and metabolic changes that allow it to survive drug exposure. The researchers are using a range of innovative molecular, biochemical and cellular techniques, and computational modeling, to make visible, and understandable, the minute changes that occur within the parasite. This eventually could lead to a drug “cocktail” that would circumvent resistance.
Guler is Assistant Professor of Biology at the UVA School of Medicine.
• Promotions in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health
Scott Heysell, MD, and Carol Gilchrist, PhD, have been promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health.
• UVA House Call: Dr. Matthew Barrett on Alzheimer’s Disease
Matthew Barrett, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, talks about UVA’s memory and aging clinic.
Watch the interview: http://www.nbc29.com/clip/13431338/uva-house-call-dr-matthew-barrett-on-alzheimers-disease
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