May 19, 2022
Congratulations to Phd Student, Desmarini Desmarini, for being recognised as a finalist for her industry pitch presentation Desmarini her industry pitch presentation at the Drug Discovery Initiative’s (DDI) Early Career Researcher Symposium last week. Desmarini is part of the Fungal Pathogenesis Group, lead by Associate Professor Julie Djordjevic at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (CIDM).
Desmarini’s industry pitch was for a HDR student session called Funding for Impact Pitch session, where she explained the significant impact of her research on Invasive fungal diseases (IFD). IFD’s affect over 300 million people worldwide and cause > 1.5 million deaths per year. Despite this, few antifungal drug classes are available and those that are commonly used often have poor efficacy and/or significant toxicity.
Development of resistance is also a major problem and is predicted to worsen, potentially leaving us with an even smaller arsenal of drugs to combat IFD. This unmet global medical need will be addressed by developing fungal Arg1 inhibitor as novel antifungal drug. Arg1 is an important kinase that plays a role in multiple essential cellular processes which makes Arg1 inhibitor different to the currently available single-target antifungal drugs. Fungi lacking Arg1 cannot establish an infection in animal models, making it a strong candidate for drug development.
Desmarini has an impactful 2-year plan ahead, we wish her and team every success.