Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lab probes anti-malarial benefits of shrub

Simon Blakey's organic chemistry lab has received seed funding for its Malagashine Project: to investigate a molecule isolated from a Madagascar plant that has shown promise as an anti-malarial prophylaxis. "It's an exciting molecule, but it is only produced by the plant in small quantities," says Blakey, who hopes to learn more about how and why the molecule works.

In December, Blakey received an NSF CAREER grant. The major focus of his work is making carbon-nitrogen bonds that hold potential for developing and manufacturing new drugs. "Out of the 50 top-selling drugs, 47 of them contain carbon-nitrogen bonds, so they are extremely important to medicine," he says. "Our lab is trying to invent better, more efficient ways of creating them."

Read more about the work of Blakey's lab here

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