CWUChemistry NewsChemistry News Professors Awarded $360,000 to Fight Scourge of Hookworms, 12 May 2015 13:40:38<p><img alt="" src="/chemistry/sites/" style="width: 244px; height: 300px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;">Worldwide, nearly a billion people are afflicted with hookworms, an intestinal parasite that causes stunted growth, anemia, malnutrition, low birth weight, and, though rarely, even death. Although it has been successfully treated in the past with drugs, hookworms and similar parasites are developing resistance to current treatments.</p><p>Responding to an urgent need to control this widespread parasitic disease, Central Washington University Professors Blaise Dondji, biological sciences, and Gil Belofsky, chemistry, have teamed up to develop alternative therapies. They are studying plant extracts that have potential to yield effective treatments for hookworm infection.</p><p>Recently they received $361,065 from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary &amp; Integrative Health for their three-year study, “Anthelmintic Activity of Plant Natural Products Against the Hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum.” The budget for the first year is $122,440.</p><p>“Very little research has been done previously to look for alternatives to treatments for hookworm infection,” said Dondji, a specialist in infectious diseases. “To date, there is only one group of drugs for the disease, the benzimidazoles and they are becoming ineffective.”</p><p>Belofsky has performed significant research in the use of plant-based extracts to treat drug-resistant bacteria such as the dangerous Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause pneumonia, endocarditis, and toxic-shock syndrome.&nbsp; He has published recently on the activity of other plant components against resistant fungal strains, toward insect crop-pests, and has done preliminary work toward treatments for Parkinson's via dopamine receptor-binding.</p><p>Their research aims at identifying and characterizing plant compounds that demonstrate activity against the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum, one of the species causing the human disease. Compounds come from relatively common plant species—the Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata), and the Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), for example.</p><p>“We’ll examine extracts of the leaves, root, and bark and isolate the active compounds,” said Belofsky. “Then we’ll test their effectiveness on the hookworm, both ex vivo (in a petri dish) and in vivo (in a living animal).</p><p>Both Dondji and Belofsky are optimistic that the isolated plant compounds will yield positive results, and have, in fact, already isolated some of the active compounds—“which, down the road, could develop into intellectual property patenting and drug development,” said Dondji.</p><p>Early indications from these sources have been highly encouraging. However, Belofsky cautions, it must also correlate with low toxicity toward healthy cells for a treatment to be useful.</p><p>People can become infected with hookworm orally, by ingesting the hookworm larvae, or through the skin, by walking barefoot or having other skin contact with soil contaminated with hookworm larvae. The larvae that enter through the skin, end up in the small intestine where they mature. The worms then literally hook their fang-like cutting plates into the nutrient-rich lining of the intestine, where they voraciously feed on the host’s blood. Pregnant women, children and those who have compromised immune systems are most at risk for complications from hookworm infections.</p><p>Hookworms can be found throughout the world, but most commonly in sub-tropical areas where there is a constant moist, warm climate.</p><p><br><em>This research is supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R15AT008546. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.</em></p><p><em>Photo courtesy of NIH</em></p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>May 12, 2015</p></br></br>Seminar with Dr. Patrick Hrdlicka, 10 Oct 2014 13:02:23<p>Have Lunch with Dr. Hrdlicka and Dr. Kroll&nbsp;starting at 11am, followed by the seminar in &nbsp;Science 216 at 2pm, followed by Pizza with students at 3pm!</p>Dr. Kim published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 06 Oct 2014 12:52:17<p>Chemistry lecturer Young Kim has been involved in a project at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida and it results were published in Bioorganic &amp; Medicinal Chemistry Letters.&nbsp; Kim, Y. B, Kang, C, Ranatunga, S., Yang, H., Sebti, S.M., Del Valle, J.R.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-based peptidomimetics as inhibitors of Akt. Bioorganic &amp;&nbsp; Medicinal Chemistry Letters. (2014) 24, 4650.</p>Dr. Chamberland Seminar at WSU, 06 Oct 2014 12:47:40<p>Steve Chamberland was invited to give a departmental seminar about his research at Washington State University on Monday, September 15, 2014.</p>Anne Johansen has had a 3-year NSF RISE grant funded, 19 Aug 2014 15:05:01<p>North Seattle Community College (NSCC) and Central Washington University (CWU) will collaborate to address the need to reform undergraduate STEM education programs through the development of a model for institutionalizing an interdisciplinary and research-based curriculum for chemistry and biology. This collaboration provides a model for how a 2-year community college and a&nbsp; 4-year university can work together to provide innovative and authentic research experiences<br>for community college students early in their college pathway. The RISE project builds upon<br>ten years of work at NSCC that has focused on a year-long program, Atoms to Ecosystems (A2E), which integrates chemistry and biology curricula to broaden participation in STEM among students underrepresented in these fields (e.g., women, historically underrepresented minorities, low-income, and/or first-generation students), groups disproportionately found in community colleges.<br>The RISE project seeks to 1) provide progressive and innovative STEM curriculum that significantly improves preparation of diverse student populations for upper level courses and careers in science, 2) establish the foundation for a Pacific Northwest Collaboration focused on excellence<br>in STEM education at the community college level, and 3) make a significant contribution to<br>the body of knowledge regarding our understanding of how students think, learn, and problem solve in a research and interdisciplinary context early in the college experience.</p></br></br></br></br></br>Dr. Levente Fabry Promoted, 28 May 2014 11:41:27<p>Central Washington University chemistry faculty member Dr. Levente Fabry was promoted to full professor.</p>Dr. Gil Belofsky and Dr. Yingbin Ge Promoted, 28 May 2014 11:40:01<p>Central Washington University chemistry faculty were granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor this year - congratulations to Dr. Gil Belofsky and Dr. Yingbin Ge.</p>Dr. Steve Chamberland to Present at Northwest Regional Meeting of the A.C.S., 28 May 2014 11:37:43<p>Dr. Steve Chamberland's abstract titled "Total synthesis of terminal-guanidine-containing marine natural products", has been accepted for an oral presentation at NORM the 2014 Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, which will be held from June 22-25 at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT.</p>Jacob Buchanan, College of the Sciences Best Poster Presentations Awards, 28 May 2014 11:36:10<p>Undergraduate Jacob Buchanan's poster presentation entitled "Concise Total Synthesis of Phidianidine A and B" was selected with only 10 other posters for one of the "College of the Sciences Best Poster Presentations Awards" at SOURCE.&nbsp; He conducts research with Dr. Steve Chamberland.</p>Graduate Student Max Wallace at the Electrochemical Society Meeting in Orlando, FL., 28 May 2014 11:34:14<p>On May 14, graduate student Max Wallace gave an oral presentation, "Investigation of Surface Loss in Nano-scale YPO4:Eu using VUV&nbsp; Spectroscopy"&nbsp; at the 225th meeting of the Electrochemical Society in Orlando, FL.&nbsp; This is an international conference covering a variety of topics in solid state device technology.&nbsp; Max conducts research with Dr. Anthony Diaz.</p>