College of Science faculty awarded support from CTSI Molecular Therapeutics Program

Author: Richard Taylor



Notre Dame faculty from the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences have been awarded a grant from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).

Bradley Smith, the Emil T. Hofman Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and a researcher in the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development, received a grant from the Molecular Therapeutics Program of the Indiana CTSI for a project titled “Novel Drug Candidates for Treating Leishmaniasis.” The work will be carried out in collaboration with Miguel Morales, assistant professor of biological sciences, and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Heath.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection transmitted to mammals by the bites of infected sandflies. It is endemic in more than 70 countries worldwide with approximately 12 million people infected and 310 million at risk of infection. Current treatments are not ideal. Over the last year, Smith and Morales have started a collaboration by conducting preliminary Leishmania fluorescence imaging and toxicity studies on a group of fluorescent zinc(II)-dipicolylamine (ZnDPA) coordination complexes can target the anionic surfaces of bacteria. The grant supports in vivo studies of the compounds in mouse infection models to be carried out in the Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Core

The Indiana CTSI is a statewide collaboration between Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame, as well as public and private partnerships, whose mission is to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care. Funding opportunities from the Indiana CTSI can be found at the University’s CTSI webpage.

Originally published by Richard Taylor at on February 12, 2016.