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Faculty Research in the News

Llinás lab malaria research in the news

A team of researchers from Princeton University and the Drexel University College of Medicine has found that the parasite that causes malaria breaks down an important amino acid in its quest to adapt and thrive within the human body. By depleting this substance called arginine, the parasite may trigger a more critical and deadlier phase of the disease.

The scientists believe that shedding light on this poorly understood aspect of malaria metabolism has given them new insights on the interactions between the parasite and its human hosts. The work also may point the way to better treatments.

"The more we know about the parasite's metabolic network, the more intelligent we can be about targeting therapies that will cure malaria," said Kellen Olszewski, a graduate student at Princeton University and first author of the Feb. 18 Cell Host & Microbe paper describing the work. The project was led by Manuel Llinás, an assistant professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton.

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