As malaria, caused by Plasmodium spp., continues to afflict millions of people worldwide, there is a dire need for the discovery of novel, inexpensive antimalarial drugs. Although there are effective drugs on the market, the consistent development of drug resistant species has decreased their efficacy, further emphasizing that novel therapeutic measures are urgently needed. Natural products provide the most diverse reservoir for the discovery of unique chemical scaffolds with the potential to effectively combat malarial infections, but, due to their complex structures, they often pose extreme challenges to medicinal chemists during pharmacokinetic optimization. In our laboratory we have performed unbiased, cell-based assays of numerous synthetic compounds from chemical libraries enriched with nature-like elements. This screening has led to the discovery of many original chemical scaffolds with promising antimalarial properties. In an attempt to further characterize these scaffolds, the most promising compounds were assayed in order to determine their cytotoxic effects on mammalian cells. In addition, the development of a drug resistant parasite line of Plasmodium falciparum to the most promising compound was done in order to determine the relative probability for parasite resistance development.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine;Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Keasler, Eric, "Determination of selectivity and potential for drug resistance of novel antimalarial compounds from nature-inspired synthetic libraries" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1775.