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Malaria Research

/Anopheles/ is a genus of mosquito involved in the zoonotic transfer of /Plasmodium/ parasite in human hosts.

Synthesis   |   Succession of Research

Disclaimer: All opinions within this LibGuide are those of the student(s), not the Institution. We welcome faculty advisors to work with their students to create and curate resources to support their academic interests.

Antimalarial Research: The Crucial Role of Organic Chemistry and Student Researchers

         Aside from vaccines, organic chemistry is a crucial scientific discipline dedicated to creating compounds for potential antimalarial treatments. The race between antimalarial research and the development of drug resistance is a frightening one. As new antimalarial drugs are created, Plasmodium species evolve to resist these novel treatments. Malaria control relies heavily on proactive prevention efforts; without the rapid synthesis and distribution of new medications, millions could suffer from severe malaria complications or even death.

         Researchers and students involved in antimalarial research serve as vital components in the battle against these adaptive parasites. Continuing the work of previous researchers may not seem significant, but it contributes to the discovery of effective treatments for malaria and the prevention of long-term health consequences or fatalities.

         During my time in both the dry and wet lab, I realized that even research conducted in a single organic chemistry lab can have a profound impact on those affected by malaria. Familiarizing oneself with the broader scope of antimalarial research adds meaning to one's work and fosters connections within the scientific community. I communicated with Wefwafwa, a clinician in Uganda, who eagerly requested photos and videos of my lab work. He found it inspiring and shared the information with his local community, which helped them feel connected to a global effort to combat malaria.

         In the lab, maintaining clear and organized notes for your end-of-term paper is essential. Thorough documentation allows future students to build upon your research and integrate it into the wider academic community. With continued efforts, our synthesized antimalarial compounds may one day be tested against live Plasmodium species.

         Each reaction, whether successful or not, contributes to the identification of compounds capable of disrupting the life cycle or transmission of Plasmodium. This progress helps in the ongoing race between antimalarial drug development and drug resistance. As a student researcher, your work supports the global effort to eradicate malaria and improve the lives of billions.

TLDR; Organic chemistry plays a critical role in developing antimalarial treatments. Researchers and students contribute to the ongoing race between drug development and resistance, making a difference in the global effort to eradicate malaria. Maintaining clear research documentation helps future scientists continue this essential work.

 Faculty contributor(s)

  • Dr. Sheridan, who pitched this idea for antimalarial research and kept up with every facet of my research and overall project. He also helped us ship a package to Wefwafwa containing an eReader and Saint Leo merchandise.

Bibliography used for my Senior Seminar Paper

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Asua, V., Conrad, M. D., Aydemir, O., Duvalsaint, M., Legac, J., Duarte, E., . . . Rosenthal, P. J. (2022). Changing Prevalence of Potential Mediators of Aminoquinoline, Antifolate, and Artemisinin Resistance Across Uganda. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa687.

Bahrami, K., Khodaei, M. M., & Soheilizad, M. (2009). Direct Conversion of Thiols to Sulfonyl Chlorides and Sulfonamides. The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 74(24), 9287-9291.

Belete, T. M. (2020). Recent Progress in the Development of New Antimalarial Drugs with Novel Targets. University of Gondar, College of Medicine and Health Sciences; Department of Pharmacology. Gondar, Ethiopia: Drug Des Devel Ther. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S265602.

Burgess, S. J., Kelly, J. X., Shomloo, S., Wittlin, S., Brun, R., Liebmann, K., & Peyton, D. H. (2010). Synthesis, Structure−Activity Relationship, and Mode-of-Action Studies of Antimalarial Reversed Chloroquine Compounds. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 53(17), 6477-6489.

Chandramohan, D., Zongo, I., Sagara, I., Carins, M., Yerbanga, R. S., Diarra, M., . . . Greenwood, B. (2021). Seasonal Malaria Vaccination with or without Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. London, United Kingdom: Massachusetts Medical Society. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2026330.

Lawrenson, A.S., Cooper, D.L., O’Neill, P.M. et al. Study of the antimalarial activity of 4-aminoquinoline compounds against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant parasite strains. /J Mol Model/ *24*, 237 (2018).

Li, X., Kumar, S., McDew-White, M., Haile, M., Cheeseman, I. H., Emrich, S., . . . VaughanI, A. M. (2019). Genetic mapping of fitness determinants across the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum life cycle. Texas Biomedical Research Institute. San Antonio: PLOS Genet. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008453.

Lu, K. Y., & Derbyshire, E. R. (2020). Tafenoquine: A Step toward Malaria Elimination. Biochemistry, 59(8), 911–920.

Mathews, E. S., & Odom John, A. R. (2018). Tackling resistance: emerging antimalarials and new parasite targets in the era of elimination. F1000Research, 7, F1000 Faculty Rev-1170.

Mulaw, T., Wubetu, M., Dessie, B., Demeke, G., & Molla, Y. (2019). Evaluation of Antimalarial Activity of the 80% Methanolic Stem Bark Extract of Combretum molle Against Plasmodium berghei in Mice. Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine, 24, 2515690X19890866.

Om P.S. Patel, Richard M. Beteck, Lesetja J. Legoabe, (2021). Antimalarial application of quinones: A recent update, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 210, 2021, 113084, ISSN 0223-5234,

Rottmann M, Jonat B, Gumpp C, Dhingra SK, Giddins MJ, Yin X, Badolo L, Greco B, Fidock DA, Oeuvray C, Spangenberg T. 2020. Preclinical antimalarial combination study of M5717, a Plasmodium falciparum elongation factor 2 inhibitor, and pyronaridine, a hemozoin formation inhibitor. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 64:e02181-19.

Syed, Y. Y. (2022). RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine (Mosquirix®): a profile of its use. Drugs Ther Perspect. doi: 10.1007/s40267-022-00937-3.

Tania Luthra, Akshay Kumar Nayak, Sarpita Bose, Saikat Chakrabarti, Ashish Gupta, Subhabrata Sen, Indole based antimalarial compounds targeting the melatonin pathway: Their design, synthesis and biological evaluation, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 168, 2019, Pages 11-27, ISSN 0223-5234,

Thierry T. Diagana, Supporting malaria elimination with 21st century antimalarial agent drug discovery, Drug Discovery Today, Volume 20, Issue 10, 2015, Pages 1265-1270, ISSN 1359-6446,

Tripathi, M., Taylor, D., Khan, S. I., Tekwani, B. L., Ponnan, P., Das, U. S., Velpandian, T., & Rawat, D. S. (2019). Hybridization of Fluoro-amodiaquine (FAQ) with Pyrimidines: Synthesis and Antimalarial Efficacy of FAQ–Pyrimidines. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 10(5), 714-719.

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