The recent announcement that a possible cure for sleeping sickness is nearly ready for human trials reflects not only a creative financing innovation, but years of research by Pace University’s Haskins Laboratories, a group well known among experts on rare diseases.
The Haskins Laboratories is a scientific research center of Dyson College of Arts and Sciences located on Pace University’s New York City campus. The laboratory produces research that enhances understanding of parasitic disease and reveals new ways to improve human health across the world. Students carry out research under the guidance of faculty advisors and regularly present their work at national and international conferences. These students upon graduation pursue careers in medicine, dentistry or continue on to graduate school. The program is linked solidly to the university’s Chemistry and Biology Departments, with joint research projects involving students, faculty and laboratory staff.
The Laboratory has received international recognition for developing a new area of research in parasitic protozoa – the biochemistry and pharmacologic importance of a class of compounds called polyamines. Its long and illustrious history in molecular and biochemical parasitology continues today, with the ultimate goal of developing new and safer antimicrobial compounds.
Today’s research projects are centered on East African Trypanosomes; the opportunistic parasites, Cryptosporidium parvum and Microsporidia; and the sexually transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The common theme is exploring new chemotherapeutic strategies for these diverse parasites in the polyamine biosynthetic pathway. We are also exploring new aspects of polyamine metabolism in other parasitic protozoa: the venereal parasite Trichomonas, and the AIDS-associated Cryptosporidium and Microsporidia. Other areas of increasing research interest include: chemosensory reception in protozoa, the ecology of lower New York harbor, East and Hudson rivers, and development of roof gardens in the urban environment. Haskins studies have been funded by grants from DNDi, NIH, NSF, WHO and private foundations, as well as through collaborations with established and newly founded pharmaceutical firms including Scynexis LLC., Genzyme, and Fraunhoffer LLC.
For more information about Haskins Labs contact:
Nigel Yarlett, PhD
Chemistry and Physical Sciences Department Chair
New York City Campus