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Anthelmintic Research and Optimization (A-HERO)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Apr 30, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"I propose an ambitious, yet feasible 5-year research project that will fill an important gap in global health. Specifically, I will develop and validate novel approaches for anthelmintic drug discovery and development. My proposal pursues the following five research questions: (i) Is a chip calorimeter suitable for high-throughput screening in anthelmintic drug discovery? (ii) Is combination chemotherapy safe and more efficacious than monotherapy against strongyloidiasis and trichuriasis? (iii) What are the key pharmacokinetic parameters of praziquantel in preschool-aged children and school-aged children infected with Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium using a novel and validated technology based on dried blood spotting? (iv) What are the metabolic consequences and clearance of praziquantel treatment in S. mansoni-infected mice and S. mansoni- and S. haematobium-infected children? (v) Which is the ideal compartment to study pharmacokinetic parameters for intestinal nematode infections and does age, nutrition, co-infection and infection intensity influence the efficacy of anthelmintic drugs?My proposed research is of considerable public health relevance since it will ultimately result in improved treatments for soil-transmitted helminthiasis and pediatric schistosomiasis. Additionally, at the end of this project, I have generated comprehensive information on drug disposition of anthelmintics. A comprehensive database of metabolite profiles following praziquantel treatment will be available. Finally, the proof-of-concept of chip calorimetry in anthelmintic drug discovery has been established and broadly validated."
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