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Chemogenomic-Guided Identification and Optimization of Inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum Heat Shock Proteins (PfHSPs) as Potential Anti-Malarial Drugs

Grace Mugumbate of Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe will develop new anti-malarial drugs by using a chemogenomics approach for ligand-based and structure-based virtual screening to identify compounds that selectively bind to heat shock proteins of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. P. falciparum heat shock proteins are essential for parasite growth and survival, and represent a valuable new target for developing safe and effective anti-malarials. They will use existing chemical and genomic data to produce three-dimensional structures of several heat shock proteins for performing the virtual screens. Machine learning approaches will be used to identify binding ligands and inhibitors that will be validated using enzymatic assays in vitro. Promising hits will then be subjected to structure-based optimization to identify active compounds as leads for further development.

More information about Grand Challenges Africa: Drug Discovery

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.