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Finding appropriate drug targets for infectious diseases requires a great deal of research, focusing on molecular approaches to identify important cellular differences between parasites and their human hosts.
Many of Seattle BioMed's scientists are focused on this type of research. For example, scientists at Seattle BioMed, led by Ken Stuart, Ph.D., made the breakthrough discovery of RNA editing, which provides a potential basis for drug treatments for three major parasitic diseases.
Another group of researchers, headed by Peter Myler, Ph.D., has completed sequencing the genome of the parasite that causes leishmania. This information will provide the basis for new or improved drug targets to combat that disease.
Faster-acting, more cost-effective tuberculosis drugs are the research focus of David Sherman, Ph.D. By understanding the basic biology of the TB bacterium, Dr. Sherman and his colleagues hope to shorten the course of TB therapy from a matter of months to a few weeks.