£7.7 Million awarded for African Sleeping Sickness research

In recent months, three major grants have been awarded to support the combat against the parasite responsible for African sleeping sickness


  • Professor Paul Michels and Professor Malcolm Walkinshaw, in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Selcia, were awarded £2.5M by the Wellcome Trust ‘seeding drug discovery’ initiative to develop new therapeutics to inhibit the unusual metabolism of the sleeping sickness parasite.
  • Dr Achim Schnaufer was awarded £2.8M by the Medical Research Council to support a Senior Research Fellowship to investigate the mitochondrial biology of trypanosomes and the impact of this on drugs used against the parasites.
  • Professor Keith Matthews received £2.4M as part of a Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust to support research into the mechanisms by which sleeping sickness parasites interact with one another in the bloodstream of infected mammals, and their environment , in order to ensure their transmission by tsetse flies.

Professor Matthews commented “African trypanosomiasis remains an important but neglected disease of sub Saharan Africa.  These major grants reflect the multi-pronged efforts that researchers in Edinburgh are bringing to restrict the impact of this devastating disease on both humans and livestock.”


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