Synthetic platelet microbicidal peptides as novel anti-malarial drugs

Following on from my group’s discoveries on how platelets can kill Plasmodium parasites in the bloodstream during malarial infection, this project will investigate antimalarial peptides designed from the anti-plasmodial platelet protein, platelet factor 4 (PF4).

PF4 peptides act against the parasite by a unique cytotoxic mechanism, are selective towards Plasmodium-infected red blood cells, and are not toxic to healthy host cells. The aim of this project is to characterise refined versions of these peptides and identify those best suited for development into novel antimalarial compounds.