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W. Conrad Liles, MD, PhD

Dr. Liles returned to the University of Washington in 2012 from the University of Toronto, where he was Vice-Chair and Professor of Medicine, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Canada Research Chair in Infectious Diseases and Inflammation.


Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by the parasite Plasmodium. Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Malaria is transmitted by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitos (called "malaria vectors") , which introduces the organisms from its saliva into a person's circulatory system. Malaria causes common symptoms including fevers, headaches, chills, and vomiting, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death if untreated.

Wesley C. Van Voorhis, MD, PhD

There is a great need for new drugs for parasitic diseases, such as Malaria, African Sleeping Sickness, Chagas' disease, and Leishmaniasis.

Each year, these diseases sicken or kill over 200 million people. Though some pharmaceutical companies devote research effort to discover drugs to treat some of these diseases, there is little done given the need; the people with these parasitic diseases have little money to pay for medicine. The Van Voorhis research group uses emerging knowledge about the genomes of these parasites to aid in rational drug discovery.