Dr Paola Favuzza & Dr Anthony Hodder - Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division

Dr Paola Favuzza & Dr Anthony Hodder - Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division

Start Time: 
Wed, 20/10/2021 - 1:00pm
End Time: 
Wed, 20/10/2021 - 2:00pm

WEHI Wednesday Seminar hosted by Professor Alan Cowman


Dr Paola Favuzza & Dr Anthony Hodder

Senior Research Officers - Cowman Laboratory

Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division - Infection, Inflammation & Immunity Theme


Development of irresistible antimalarials and their mode of action


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Including Q&A session


Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by Plasmodium parasites and transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. Globally, in 2019 there were an estimated 229 million malaria clinical cases and 409,000 deaths. Artemisinin combination therapy is the main treatment option for malaria however, emergence and spread of resistance highlights the importance of finding new drugs with novel mechanism of action. The aspartic proteases Plasmepsin IX and X (PMIX and PMX) are master modulators of egress, merozoite invasion and development, and are promising drug targets. Dual inhibitors of PMIX and PMX block multiple stages of the Plasmodium life cycle and can cure mice of P. berghei, prevent blood infection from the liver and transmission to mosquitoes. In addition, cross-resistance with existing antimalarials has not been observed and selection of resistant P. falciparum parasites has not been possible, demonstrating a high barrier for the development of resistance against this class of compounds. This seminar will be presented by Dr Paola Favuzza and Dr Tony Hodder and summarise our latest findings on the development of novel antimalarials targeting PMIX and PMX for the treatment and control of malaria.


Dr Paola Favuzza completed her PhD in Molecular Immunology at the University of Basel in 2015 focused on Malaria vaccine development. She joined Alan Cowman’s team at WEHI in 2017 where she is focused on antimalarial drug discovery and development in collaboration with institute colleagues and pharmaceutical industry partners.


Dr Anthony Hodder is a senior research scientist in Alan Cowman’s laboratory and responsible for structural and functional analysis of PMIX and PMX. He has analysed the mechanism of action for novel candidate antimalarials using structural biology approaches.


All welcome!!