JudySakanaryUCSF

Filariasis & Onchocerciasis Core Director, CDIPD

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I am the lead scientist for the Bill & Melinda Gates funded project to screen compounds with Brugia malayi, the roundworm that causes the disease known as lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis. Our team recently developed a low cost and simple visual imaging system that utilizes a novel software program to capture video recordings to assay compounds with these large worms. Rather than using laborious and subjective methods of analyzing the data, our method allows us to quantify each worm's movement simultaneously, on an entire plate, with each plate taking only a few seconds to read.

My research also involves other parasite projects including the development of a schistosome cell line for use in drug discovery and screening studies and characterizing various parasite proteins as potential drug targets.

In addition, for the past 15 years, I have taught a Medical Parasitology course at U.C. Berkeley. This is an intensive 6-week summer session course covering medically important helminthic and protozoan parasites that cause morbidity and mortality worldwide. Students learn about the epidemiology, pathogenesis and diagnosis of the infections as well as the ecology and evolution of the host-parasite relationship.