Unravelling a parasite-specific target: Chemical exploration of the druggability of a novel Schistosoma mansoni serine-threonine kinase SmSTK25

Jeannine Hess (primary)
Department of Chemistry & Biological Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
King’s College London & the Francis Crick Institute
Maria R Sasi Conte (secondary)
Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics
King’s College London


Neglected tropical diseases affect more than one billion people, mainly in the world’s poorest regions. In 2019, almost 236.6 million people required treatment of schistosomiasis, a chronic disease caused by parasitic worms. Praziquantel is the only available treatment option to date – an alarming situation as drug resistance could emerge. We propose to address SmSTK25, a serine-threonine kinase that was recently identified as a potential drug target. Using a fragment-based drug discovery approach and iterative cycles of synthetic chemistry, modelling, structural biology, biophysical techniques, and in vitro kinase assays, we will develop inorganic/organometallic inhibitors of SmSTK25 as promising new drug candidates.


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Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Chemical BiologyMicrobiologyStructural Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsChemistryMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling