Drexel University drug Discovery // Drug Repurposing

Drexel University drug Discovery

In Mumbai, the most populous city in India, the modern day tale of two cities is unfolding. Glitzy, steel and glass apartment towers are rising adjacent to some of the poorest slums in the world. It’s the wealthiest city in India, yet like other fast developing cities around the globe, Mumbai also suffers from widespread poverty, unemployment and poor public health.

Because of the tropical climate, female anopheles mosquitoes are ubiquitous, and when they bite, they don’t discriminate between the rich and poor. Unlike other metropolitan cities where improvements to public health are strongly associated with economic development, reports of new malaria infections are up 71 percent in Mumbai over the last four years, according to a survey conducted by Mumbai-based Praja Foundation.

A sharp increase in cases of drug-resistant malaria has experts like Drexel Microbiology and Immunology professor Akhil Vaidya especially worried that malaria could be making a comeback in that region.

“I visit Mumbai often, and I’ve seen people who live in apartments who are wealthy get sick and die, ” Vaidya says. “It’s a real problem.”

Philadelphia residents were contracting malaria as late as the 1940s, but the disease largely has been eliminated in the United States thanks to better sanitation practices, elimination of standing water and advances in health care. Fewer than 1, 400 cases were reported last year, nearly all of which involved people who contracted the disease while traveling abroad.

Malaria disease is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most common species of parasite affecting humans; Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly.

The fight against malaria dates to ancient times, yet the disease remains one of the most lethal infectious killers in the world.

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An anecdotal response

by invivoVibrio

I have worked in several labs that have produced, either directly or through a spin-off company, real products that are medically useful. Scientists are the ones who create vaccines, design diagnostic devices and tests, and discover useful drugs.
There's a whole spectrum that falls under the title "science," which ranges from the purely discovery-oriented, focusing on just learning more about a topic for learning's sake; to the purely practical, such as so-called translational research, where scientists iron out the details of a practically useful discovery and optimize it for practical applications, "translating" the basic science into something that can be produced and sold by industry

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