• Wesley C. Van Voorhis, MD, PhD
    Professor and Head, Allergy and Infectious Disease
    Email: click here
    Phone: (206) 543-0821

Drug Development for Protozoal infections: Discovery of new drugs for use against Plasmodium falciparum (agent of malaria), Trypanosoma cruzi (agent of Chagas’ disease), T. brucei (agent of African sleeping sickness), Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium parvum (agent of prolonged diarrhea) and Leishmania species using rational drug design of parasite selective inhibitors of kinases, and protein farnesyltransferase enzymes. Trainees in his laboratory often validate and perform hypothesis-based research on potential new drug targets under development that are very promising for developing new pharmaceuticals that kill these important parasites. Dr Van Voorhis also directs an international group using in silico techniques to identify novel drug targets (www.TDRtargets.org). In addition, using a structural genomics approach, his laboratory is investigating the biological relevance of potential drug targets such as phosphodiesterases, methionine aminopeptidases, and glycogen synthase kinase. His many collaborators include Dr. David Sherman and Dr. Fred Buckner.

Cameron CE, Castro C, Lukehart SA, Van Voorhis WC. Opsonic potential, protective capacity, and sequence conservation of the Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum Tp92. J Infect Dis 181:1401-13, 2000.

Buckner FS, Eastman RT, Nepomuceno-Silva JL, Speelmon EC, Myler PJ, Van Voorhis WC, Yokoyama K. Cloning, heterologous expression, and
substrate specificities of protein farnesyltransferases from Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major. Mol Biochem Parasitol 122:181-8, 2002.

Morgan CA, Molini BJ, Lukehart SA, Van Voorhis WC. Segregation of B and T cell epitopes of Treponema pallidum repeat protein K to variable
and conserved regions during experimental syphilis infection. J Immunol 169:952-7, 2002.

Gelb MH, Van Voorhis WC, Buckner FS, Yokoyama K, Eastman R, Carpenter EP, Panethymitaki C, Brown KA, Smith DF. Protein farnesyl and N-myristoyl transferases: piggy-back medicinal chemistry targets for the development of antitrypanosomatid and antimalarial therapeutics. Mol Biochem Parasitol 126:155-63, 2003.


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