UW documentary features four Chemistry faculty

Professors Michael Gelb, David Ginger, Alvin Kwiram, and Pradip Rathod of the Department of Chemistry are among the notable University of Washington scientists highlighted in a new documentary released this month. “Timeless Discoveries,” a documentary made possible by the generosity of the Leonard P. & Helen M. Kammeyer Endowed Fund, highlights major breakthroughs, groundbreaking research, and practical applications revealed by the scientific community at the College of Arts & Sciences. The film, which will air on UWTV, follows professors and students as they discuss their challenges and discoveries ranging from the Hepatitis B vaccine to advances in solar energy.  The film was also featured in the Local News section of the Seattle Times.

To learn more about Professor Gelb and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

To learn more about Professor Ginger and his research, please visit his faculty web page and his research group site.

To learn more about Emeritus Professor Kwiram and his research, please visit his faculty page.

To learn more about Professor Rathod and his research, visit his faculty web page.

Professor Rathod receives Medicines for Malaria Venture Project Award

Pradip Rathod, Professor of Chemistry and Adjunct Professor of Global Health, was recently awarded a Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) project award. The award was presented in Dar es Salaam by the President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. Prof. Rathod received the award as a member of a group of researchers who are investigating new anti-malarial drugs. The award was presented in recognition of the international team’s “impressive progress to rapidly bring DHODH inhibitors towards clinical testing”.

Read about the MMV project award here.

To learn more about Prof. Rathod and his research, visit his faculty web page.

Pradipsinh Rathod awarded Gates Foundation grant

Pradipsinh K. Rathod, Professor of Chemistry, was awarded a $ 1,000,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the next phase of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage bold and unconventional ideas for global health. The grant will provide continued support for Prof. Rathod’s  global health research project “Strategies to Disable Hypermutagenesis in Malaria Parasites.”

Prof. Rathod proposed that drug resistance in malaria parasite populations is driven by cellular components, a “mutasome”, that promotes acquisition of multiple mutations at target loci in the genome.  All malaria parasites may have had an ancestral, pre-existing mechanism to mutate surface proteins at extraordinary rates to avoid host immunity. However, parasite populations displaying the Accelerated Resistance to Multiple Drugs (ARMD) phenotype may have hijacked such a machinery to now make changes anywhere in the genome. Genomic studies are geared to identify genome components which help drive hypermutagenesis, and high throughput screens are being developed to directly block the process with small organic molecules. An ability to chemically disable such a mutasome during malaria therapy would improve success rates and staying power of new antimalarial drugs.   Laboratory Post-Doctoral colleagues John White and Jenny Guler, and graduate student Joseph Fowble conduct  experimental design and implementation on the GCE project in the Rathod laboratory.

Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year, $100 million initiative of the Gates Foundation to promote innovation in global health. For more information, visit  http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations.

To learn more about Prof. Rathod’s research, visit his faculty page.

Pictured: Prof. Rathod and Dr. Jennifer Guler in the lab (photo by Mary Levin).

Pradip Rathod receives Gates Foundation grant

Professor Pradipsinh Rathod was one of 104 recipients of a grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s new initiative, Grand Challenges Explorations in Global Health. Rathod’s grant will support a project titled “Strategies to Disable Hypermutagenesis in Malaria Parasites,” which targets components of the malaria genome and develops partner drugs to disable parasite hypermutagenesis, allowing older methods of treatment to be effective against the disease.

The Gates Foundation believes that “creative, unorthodox thinking is essential to overcoming the most persistent challenges in global health,” and the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative is designed to “foster innovation in global health research and expand the pipeline of ideas that merit further exploration.” The initiative features an accelerated grant-making process with short two-page applications requiring no preliminary data. Initial grants of approximately $100,000 are awarded, with the possibility of additional funding ($1 million or more) for projects that show promise. The projects selected fit into the fourteen “grand challenges” set forth by the Gates Foundation, which address seven long-term goals to improve health in the developing world, such as creating new vaccines, improving nutrition, and establishing quantitative assessments of overall population health.

To view the full article in UWeek, please visit: GCGH article.

The awarding of the GCGH grants was covered by the local press, with articles in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times.

For more information about Pradip Rathod and his research, please visit his faculty page.

Pradip Rathod and research team receive MMV grant

Professor Pradipsinh Rathod is part of a team of scientists who have received a grant from the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). The group received funding for a five-year project, “Optimizing novel Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors for Treating Malaria.” The DHODH project team also has investigators from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Monash University.

For more information about the MMV DHODH project, please visit the MMV DHODH page.

For more information about Pradip Rathod and his research, please visit his faculty page.