Treating Diseases of Poverty

Author: College of Science

“Notre Dame is committed to developing treatments for diseases of poverty like malaria. This is integral to its Catholic mission. Our goal at the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases is to be part of the solution towards the eradication of malaria.”

Professor Haldar’s area of expertise is understanding disease pathology and developing treatments in rare and neglected diseases.

The first Parsons-Quinn Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, Haldar studies acute and severe disease, in cell and animal models and human populations. Her research focus on malaria, examines how the parasites attack red blood cells and change or ‘remodel’ them as a comfortable place to grow. These studies have shown how to stop malaria with common blood pressure drugs.

More recently she is researching the role of lipids in malaria and other rare and neglected diseases. A major problem in controlling malaria is the development of resistance to existing drugs. Haldar’s work has revealed new pathways that control the proper functions of cellular components called the endoplasmic reticulum, that are critical for the survival of the parasite and present new targets for breakthrough drugs to overcome resistance. Through partnership with Eli Lilly & Co., the Medicines for Malaria Venture and other faculty laboratories at the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, Haldar is developing therapies and strategies for the eradication of malaria.

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