New York University, School of Medicine

Start : April 2012 | Status : Complete

The Researcher: Julio Alonso Padilla, a research associate working in a team led by Dr. Ana Rodriguez, associate professor, NYU School of Medicine, will be responsible for running primary HTS at Tres Cantos.

The sponsor: NYU School of Medicine is one of the US premier centres of excellence in healthcare, biomedical research and medical education. The Medical Parasitology laboratory headed by Ana Rodriguez studies two different parasites, Plasmodium, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, involved in Chagas disease. One of the group’s main interests is the development of effective drugs against Chagas Disease.

Foundation funding: The Foundation is providing £85,570 in support.

GlaxoSmithKline’s contribution: GSK is providing in-kind contributions (including facilities and expertise from supporting scientists for HTS and GSK collection of compounds).

Project Description: At the Open Lab, Julio is running a specific test known as a Trypanosome cell-based assay to help identify new drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease. A significant part of his research involves conducting high-throughput screening (HTS) to find specific inhibitors of the infection.

The objective of the HTS is to find several chemical compounds which demonstrate specific activity relevant to Chagas disease that could subsequently be developed into a lead for the treatment of this disease.

This type of screening is only possible with access to facilities at a large pharmaceutical company such as GSK. The amount of resources, equipment and expertise needed to screen a compound collection of the size that will be analysed in this campaign, would be unfeasible elsewhere”. Julio Alonso Padilla (Open Lab Scientist)