Student's drug research wins award

Wednesday 5 March 2014

A Salford student’s research into anti-malarial drugs has won a silver award at the Zing Drug Discovery Conference in Malaga.

Holly Matthews, a final year PhD student at the School of Environment & Life Sciences, gained the award for her work on drug repositioning - the application of known drugs and compounds to new diseases.

Drug repositioning is increasingly viewed as an alternative to the traditional approach of fast-track drug discovery as it is expensive and time-consuming to develop new drugs.

Holly’s research is significant because it led to the successful screening of around 700 drugs selected from two patent-expired drug libraries to yield 50 potential anti-malarial drug leads. The anti-amoebic drug Emetine Dihydrochloride in particular was highlighted as a potent anti-malarial option.

Holly is part of the Malaria Drug Discovery Group at the University and is supervised by Dr. Niroshini Nirmalan. The group researches different aspects of anti-malarial drug discovery including natural product screening, drug-repositioning and method development.

The Malaria Journal recently published a paper about Holly’s research into the repositioning of Emetine Dihydrochloride. View it here: