Wormfree World - Finding New Cures

Wormfree World Institute
BiologyMedicine
DOI: 10.18258/0035
$18,726
Raised
124%
Funded on 1/21/13
Successfully Funded
  • $18,726
    pledged
  • 124%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 1/21/13

About This Project

Hookworms affect the lives of more than 400,000,000 men, women and children around the world. The most effective drugs available today work only some of the time, on some of the worms. In fact, these drugs were originally developed for veterinary medicine, not for human treatment.

Ask the Scientists

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What is the context of this research?

Hookworms affect the lives of more than 400,000,000 men, women and children around the world. The most effective drugs available today work only some of the time, on some of the worms. In fact, these drugs were originally developed for veterinary medicine, not for human treatment. Our goal at Wormfree World Institute, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research center is to discover and develop urgently-needed drugs to free children from intestinal roundworms. We strive for a wormfree world, which we can accomplish with your help!

What is the significance of this project?

You can't always tell by looking at them. The boys and girls in the picture below are infected with parasites. Hookworms stunt their growth, fog their brains, and weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to HIV, TB and other infectious diseases. The number of people affected is greater than the combined populations of the United States and Canada. We believe that the cure for this disease is within our reach, and deserves our immediate attention.

What are the goals of the project?

Using high throughput screening, we will screen 1,000 promising drug compounds directly on human intestinal hookworms- not on worms found in farm animals. Our bench scientist works in a research space in San Diego, and we have assembled everything we need to begin the first phase of the drug discovery process. Screens will be carried out in a 96-well format containing hookworms, experimental compound, and liquid hookworm medium. The impact of experimental compounds will be assessed based on parasite motility, size, and coloration. Post-screening, we anticipate designing an in-depth drug development effort around our best lead compound(s).

Budget

  • $5,000Lab materials (pipettes, 96 well plates, etc.)
  • $5,000Scientist wages
  • $8,000Compounds and preservative agents

100% of our budget will be used in the lab to test potential cure compounds.

Meet the Team

Raffi V. Aroian
Raffi V. Aroian
Professor of BIological Sciences; Chairman of Wormfree World Institute

Affiliates

B.S, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D, California Institute of Technology
Richard Lin
Richard Lin
Board Member
Arash Safavi
Arash Safavi
Research Scientist

Background

Raffi Aroian, founder and Chairman of the Wormfree World Institute completed his postdoctoral studies at University of California, San Francisco, where he was a Helen Hayes Whitney Fellow and a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Cancer Society. He is currently Professor of Biological Sciences at University of California San Diego, where he has been a faculty for over 15 years. He was a recipient of a New Investigators Award in Toxicological Sciences from the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation and a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator. He has published more than 40 papers in scientific journals on roundworms.