Synthesis of novel triazole-based antimalarial small molecules.

Mentor: Derek Martyn

Malaria parasites have developed resistance to antimalarial drugs in the past several decades. In the search for new medicines, high-throughput screens performed at the Broad identified nearly 200 compounds that inhibit growth of P. falciparum, the species of the malaria parasite responsible for most malaria cases. A further screen in collaboration with Genzyme resulted in one promising compound, a triazole-based molecule with previously unknown activity against the parasite and low toxicity in human cell lines.

Daniel and his mentor developed a synthetic pathway to produce this compound, which will facilitate biological testing of the molecule and its analogs. The pathway they developed also provides three points of diversity for the synthesis of analogs. Once purified, the analogs will undergo tests of efficacy against the malaria parasite and assessments of their pharmacokinetic properties. Effective molecules may then continue toward drug development.

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Daniel, a Lexington High School senior, synthesized small molecules with the goal of identifying new antimalarial compounds.


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