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uni'wissen 01-2016_ENG

The Asian tiger mosquito has already reached us,” says Prof. Dr. Manfred Jung. Isolated sandflies have also been sighted. Indigenous to Asia and the Mediterranean region, respectively, these insects are feared because they carry Chikungunya fever and leishmaniasis – infectious diseases that were unknown north of the Alps just a few years ago. Global warming and globalization have resulted in once exotic parasites spreading to parts of Northern Europe and North America, explains the researcher from the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Together with his group of scientists, Jung is participating in the international project “Antiparasitic Drug Discovery in Epigenetics,” A-PARADDISE for short. The goal is to lay the foundations for the development of new drugs against tropical illnesses. Sixteen universities and external research institutes are collaborating on the project, which is receiving six million euros in funding from the European Union (EU). The scientists hope to render many disease- carrying parasites harmless – including those that cause malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, Epigenetics could help to improve the treatment of malaria and other tropical diseases Agents against Parasites by Verena Adt 32