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Department of Chemistry

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Durham Chemistry to combat Tropical Diseases

(21 July 2017)

Academics from the Department of Chemistry (Graham Sandford, Steven Cobb and Patrick Steel) and the Department of Biosciences (Paul Denny and Ehmke Pohl) have joined forces with colleagues from York (Jeremy Mottram), Sao Paulo (Ariel Silber) and Kalkotta (Nahid Ali) to lead an ambitious effort to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTD) with a £8M Global Network. The insect-vector transmitted diseases leishmaniasis and Chagas disease represent huge challenges in endemic regions of South America, Africa and Asia. It is estimated that >350 million people world-wide are at risk from leishmaniasis with more than 20.000 deaths per year while more than seven million people suffer from Chagas diseases in South America alone.

This global consortium led by Graham Sandford (Durham Chemistry) includes more than 50 partners from 14 different institution spanning three continents. It brings together expertise from chemistry, biophysics,structural and cell biology and parasitology with the aim to deliver and validate new drug targets for the drug discovery pipeline in academia and in the pharmaceutical industries. With its focus on generating new capabilities in lower and middle-income countries the initiative will also ensure that there is a sustainable global network of researchers who can continue to push forward research into neglected tropical diseases generally both in the UK and on the global stage.

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