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COMSTECH organizes international seminar on advances in neglected tropical diseases

Islamabad, 4 December, 2023 (GNP): COMSTECH Organized International Seminar on “Advances in Neglected Tropical Diseases”, on Monday.

The seminar was delivered by Prof. Dr. Paul Denny, and Prof. Dr. Ehmke Pohl, Department of Chemistry, Durham University, UK.

Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General COMSTECH welcomed the participants. He said the experts of the seminar are not only excellent in terms of their education and experience in the field of NTDs but also because of their mission.

Prof. Choudhary mentioned that the Leishmaniasis disease burden in Pakistan is increasing. He said that COMSTECH is collaborating with the NTD network since last three years and through this linkage have conducted several activities including a series of online lectures, and a training course in Nairobi.

We are also planning another activity in CTD Ethiopia in March, and then a lecture/training visits to west African countries in September/October 2024. Prof. Choudhary informed that the health and economic burden of NTDs are greater than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV combined.

Prof. Choudhary mentioned that global investment in R&D for treatment and diagnosis of NTDs is remarkably low. As a result, NTDs continue to adversely affect the lives of people in Global South, with increasing prevalence due to climate change.

Prof. Dr. Paul Denny delivered lecture on “leishmaniasis, drugs and diagnostics for a disease of neglect”, and Prof. Dr. Ehmke Pohl lecture was on “structure-based and AI supported drug discovery targeting protozoan amino-acid biosynthesis”.

Prof. Dr. Denny Paul, Departments of Biosciences and Chemistry, Durham University, has been studying the single-celled protozoan parasites of humans and domestic animals since 1993.

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Currently his laboratory works on model pathogens from both the trypanosomatid and apicomplexan families. He is particularly interested in the identification of novel drug targets and inhibitors.

Much of this interdisciplinary work is conducted in collaboration with colleagues within the Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham and partners at GSK Tres Cantos, MRC Technology Ltd, London, Aureogen Ltd and Bayer Crop Sciences.

Professor Dr. Ehmke Pohl, Departments of Biosciences and Chemistry, Durham University. After his PhD from the University of Göttingen (Germany) he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory as independent staff scientist and Team Leader combining his research interest in method development and structural biology of medically important targets.

He joined Durham University to build up a new group in structural biology. In 2015 he was appointed Co-Director of the Biophysical Sciences Institute.

He is Co-investigator of the Durham-led MRC GCRF consortium on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The seminar was attended by 76 researchers from different OIC member states online and more than 50 scholars attended in-person at COMSTECH