Sharing our expertise: The COMSTECH-NTD Network online joint virtual training programme

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Category: Capacity building, Events, Network Events, Outreach

The COMSTECH and the NTD NETWORK virtual lecture programme, launched June 2021, provides live webinars in skills needed for research into Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and draws upon expertise from both our Networks.
These talks are aimed at academics, professional scientists and interested members of the general public from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and offer opportunities for specialists in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to gain or enhance their knowledge, skills, and academic connections.

This page lists the latest webinar and links to recordings of the previous talks, all hosted on the COMSTECH website.  Read about the backgrond to our decision to launch this collaborative training programme, here.

 

Webinars

6th August 2021, 2:30pm Pakistan Standard Time; 10:30am UK (BST)
Protozoan ‘Drug’ Discovery: Old Drugs, New Targets and Mining for Novelty
Professor Paul Denny
Professor of Parasitology, Centre for Global Infectious Diseases, Department of Biological Sciences, Durham University, United Kingdom
Please register to attend this meeting:   https://forms.gle/6JX8KYeWHJFBekQU7
ABSTRACT:
Parasitic diseases of humans and livestock remain a worldwide problem. Leishmaniasis impacts both health and economics and drains resources that could be used to promote development. Improving control of this disease would have profound benefits for human health, aid in wealth creation, and enhance quality of life. With no vaccine currently available for use in humans, chemotherapy remains the primary method of intervention, however current drugs are inadequate. New drugs are needed and whilst several promising candidates are in early phase clinical trials, gaining deeper insights into protozoan biology is crucial for supporting drug discovery efforts.
This presentation will focus on the characterisation of protozoan sphingolipid biosynthesis and the identification of novel antimicrobial targets within both the Kinetoplastidae and the Apicomplexa. Furthermore, Insights into the inhibitors of Leishmania sphingolipid biosynthesis and projects designed to elucidate new antileishmanial drug targets will be discussed.

COMSTECH website link for this event: https://www.comstech.org/comstech-ntd-network-protozoan/ 

25 June, 2021, 2:00pm Pakistan Standard Time; 10:00am UK (BST)
CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing of Leishmania and Drug Target Validation
Professor Jeremy Mottram
Professor of Pathogen Biology, York Biomedical Research Institute, University of York, United Kingdom
Please register to attend this meeting: https://forms.gle/W1qdudBF1395wELb9

ABSTRACT:
Parasitic disease of humans and livestock remains a worldwide problem. Leishmaniasis impacts both health and economics and drains resources that could be used to promote development. Improving control of this disease would have profound benefits for human health, aid in wealth creation, and enhance quality of life.  With no vaccine currently available for use in humans, chemotherapy remains the primary method of intervention, however current drugs are inadequate. New drugs are needed and whilst several promising candidates are in early phase clinical trials, gaining deeper insights into Leishmania biology is crucial for supporting drug discovery efforts.
Leishmania undergoes a tightly regulated differentiation process, known to be regulated by phosphorylation, transitioning between an extracellular promastigote to an intracellular amastigote. Differentiation requires extensive cellular remodelling to adapt to changing environments and this is enacted by peptidases, including the ubiquitination proteasome system (UPS).
In this presentation I will describe how we have used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing of Leishmania genes to investigate their function in life cycle progression and establishment of infection.  I will also describe how protein kinases and the UPS system are an important target class for potential new anti-leishmanial drugs.
COMSTECH website link for this event: https://www.comstech.org/crispr-cas9/