I am a PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. David Williams, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL. In line with the main focus of the lab in identifying new drug targets and new antischistosomal compounds, my PhD thesis focuses on the unique cytochrome P450 (CYP450) system in Schistosoma mansoni, a species responsible for debilitating intestinal and liver infections. The presence of only a single CYP450 gene in the genome of Schistosoma spp is unusual. The questions we ask are: what function does it play in the life cycle of schistosomes? Is the protein from this gene essential to parasite survival? Is it a good drug target, and can its function be exploited for the development of new therapies against schistosomiasis?
Recently, I have also worked on targeting the enzymes farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS) and geranyl geranyl pyrophosphate synthase (GGPPS) in the mevalonate pathway of Schistosoma mansoni, using bisphosphonate compounds.