Interim Chair and Showalter Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Pharmacology & Toxicology
Discovery of new drugs to treat incurable latent infections
Some parasitic infections are currently incurable because the parasites can hide in the body as a dormant form. Our laboratory has discovered a pathway that single-celled parasites like Plasmodium (malaria) and Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis) use to switch between replicating and latent forms. We received a patent to develop new therapies that target this pathway to eradicate latent forms of infection from the patient. Using these tools in preclinical models, we also discovered that behavioral changes caused by latent parasitic infection are due in part to neuroinflammation in the brain.