An Automated Drug Screening Platform for Helminths
Floriano Silva of Fiocruz in Brazil will develop a drug screening assay using automated microscopy to test new drug candidates for toxicity towards adult helminth parasites, which cause a range of diseases. Current screening approaches cannot easily identify drugs that specifically target adult parasites, which is the most disease-relevant life cycle stage. He will develop and validate imaging and computational methods to automatically monitor physical characteristics of the parasites, and perform proof-of-principle drug screens using an FDA approved and an annotated compound library. This approach could be expanded to other parasites and used for screening larger drug libraries to identify new classes of drugs.