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Target specific small molecules to control infections due to Trypanosomatids


Infectious diseases imposed by the parasites of Trypanosomatidae family continue to represent a huge problem on people’s lives and causes human suffering especially in developing countries. Problems associated with currently available drugs are inefficient delivery, insufficient efficacy, excessive toxicity and steady loss of effectiveness due to increasing resistance of the parasites. New drugs are urgently needed now and in the foreseeable future. Availability of the genome sequence of pathogens of this family offers a unique avenue for identification of novel drug targets and opportunities for the target based discoveries of new lead compounds.

By using a comparative genomic approach we have identified two common and potential targets against Trypanosomatidae family members with no human homologue to avoid potential toxicity issues. The objectives in this project will be to identify new ligands (India), synthesize focused-ligand libraries (Italy), test and validate them in vitro biochemical and cell based assays as well as their effect on the immune system (Portugal, and Spain). Drug delivery systems, based on liposomal and nano-particles formulations, specific to Trypanosomatidae will be developed (Portugal).

TRICONT is focused on collaborative efforts taking into account the priority set in the area of bioinformatics for health by proposing a drug discovery strategy that takes clearly advantage of the genome-based discovery of two new targets.


National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, SAS Nagar

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, SAS Nagar
Nilanjan Roy & Prabha Garg

Dr Nilanjan Roy holds a PhD degree from Bose Institute, one of the oldest institutes in India. He has had seven years of research experience from The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH. Roy is actively engaged in teaching & research in the areas of advanced techniques in Bioinformatics & Pharmainformatics, Genomics & Proteomics. In last eight years he has established a strong drug target identification research group at NIPER and several international collaborations. His main fields of activities are 1) Computational biology: Identification and validation of targets using micro-array, proteomics and comparative genomics 2) QSAR and protein modelling: Identification and validation of small molecule inhibitors in silico.

Prabha Garg is an Associate Professor and In-charge of Computer Centre, NIPER and faculty of National center of Pharmacoinformatics at NIPER. Dr. Garg did her PhD from Thapar University and is is actively engaged in customized database development at national and international levels for seven years. She has several years of research experience on ANN and customized algorithm development. Her main fields of activities are:

• Data Mining and Pattern Recognition: Protein function prediction using data mining and machine learning approaches
• Databases: Customized database development
• QSAR modeling: Applying Artificial Neural Network to predict the activity of the new chemical entities

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) is the first national level institute in pharmaceutical sciences with a proclaimed objective of becoming a centre of excellence for advanced studies and research in pharmaceutical sciences. The Government of India has declared NIPER as an Institute of National Importance. The Institute is conceived to provide leadership in pharmaceutical sciences and related areas not only within the country, but also to the countries in South East Asia, South Asia and Africa. NIPER is a member of Association of Indian Universities and Association of Commonwealth Universities.


Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto

Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto
Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva & Ali Quaissi

Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of University of Porto, Portugal. She is the head of “Parasite Disease Group” integrate in the Biology of Infection and Immunology in IBMC. Her main fields of activities are Vaccines and Immune modulators,  Biological evaluation of new drug and Proteins and Diagnosis

Ali Ouaissi received the MA degree from the University of Paris and the Ph.D. and D.S. degrees from the University of Lille, France. He has published widely in the areas of molecular biology and immunology of parasitic diseases with over 130 articles and several book chapters. He is Director of research at INSERM and Head of Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD).

The Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular at the Universidade do Porto was conceived as a multidisciplinary research institution in five broad domains. These include genetic diseases, infectious diseases and immunology, neuroscience, stress and structural biology. With over twenty five research groups and well over 200 graduate students, it fosters the kind of basic research that often finds applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. Most of the principal investigators are associated with one of five different schools of the University of Porto and its two teaching Hospitals, as well as other national biomedical and environmental research institutions. Links have been developed with other public and private universities and a couple of small and medium size enterprises.


Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena
Maria Paola Costi

Maria Paola Costi is the leader of the Medical Chemistry group (MC) and an expert in the field of structure-based drug design and drug development in anti-infective/anti-cancer drug discovery with focus on antifolates. Technologies applied are compound library design and synthesis, target-based bio-library assembling and enzymology, and molecular properties determination. She is coordinating different international projects, including framework project from FP6. Costi is responsible for the Laboratory of Drug Discovery of Enzyme Inhibitors of the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at University of Modena (UNIMORE).

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia is a main scientific research and teaching in the field of Pharmaceutical Science. The Department held extensive research in the molecular modelling and design, synthesis, analysis, biological assessment and formulation of biologically active molecules and health products in general. The Department is home to numerous research laboratories internationally whose research is funded by national agencies, international and industry partners. The research uses the most modern equipment in the Department and at the Centro Grandi Instruments and the Computing Center of the University.

Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid

Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid
Javier Moreno

Javier Moreno has focussed its work on the study of the immune response to Leishmania infantum both in canine leishmaniasis and the HIV/Leishmania co-infection in humans. He is specialised in immune response in Leishmaniasis, experimental infection, development of animal models and vaccine development. ISCIII team has been involved in several European projects concerning both human and canine leishmaniasis. The laboratory has previous experience in the immune response to L. infantum both in animals and humans.

The Instituto de Salud Carlos III is a national research and scientific support organisation responsible for promoting biomedical and health science research. Its mission is to develop and provide the highest quality scientific-technical services to the National Healthcare System (NHS) and society in general. The Laboratory  for Leishmaniasis, which is involved in the project, is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Leishmaniasis and supports WHO and the Spanish National Healthcare system on several areas related to the Leishmaniasis field: diagnostic, epidemiology, therapeutic, and clinical trials. The laboratory is also dedicated to basic research on the immune response, pathogenesis and vaccine development against parasite infection.