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UK:Brazil Joint Centre Partnership in Leishmaniasis (JCPiL)

Grant number: 18/14398-0
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: September 01, 2019 - August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology
Cooperation agreement: MRC, UKRI ; Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil
Principal Investigator:Angela Kaysel Cruz
Grantee:Angela Kaysel Cruz
Principal investigator abroad: Jeremy Mottram
Institution abroad: University of York, England
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Co-Principal Investigators:Dario Simões Zamboni ; Hiro Goto ; Luiz Ricardo Orsini Tosi
Assoc. researchers:José Angelo Lauletta Lindoso ; Mírian Nacagami Sotto
Associated scholarship(s):19/18607-5 - Computational identification and structural characterization of non-coding RNA in Leishmania braziliensis, BP.PD
19/25393-1 - UK:Brazil Joint Centre Partnership in Leishmaniasis (JCPiL). work plan 1 molecular pathology of leishmaniasis: towards host-directed therapy in leishmaniases, BP.PD


Leishmaniasis is a devastating parasitic disease that targets the poorest of society and is the 9th largest global infectious disease burden (WHO). It is truly a Neglected Infectious Disease as the combined financial support of basic and clinical research equates to <2% of infectious disease R&D resources available. Consequently, there are no vaccines available currently and the limited available treatments are repurposed from other applications, have severe side effects; including anaphylaxis, growing drug resistances and are inappropriate for the primarily juvenile leishmaniasis patients. Disease pathologies range from tegumental (mucocutaneous and cutaneous leishmaniasis) to visceral and cases in Brazil alone range from 20,000 TL to 3,500 VL per annum.The UK:Brazil Joint Centre Partnership in leishmaniasis (JCPiL) will fund five inter-related projects and 3 workshops to promote research at the interface of basic and clinical science, to extend existing collaborations between UK and Brazil and to develop new partnerships and interdisciplinary ways of working. Travel will be used to cross train PIs, PDRAs and PhD students in the foremost technologies and expertise available worldwide. Studies will be focused on understanding parasite genetic diversity in the context of variations of Leishmania infectivity and virulence factor expression, mechanisms of immune evasion, diversity of host response, resultant immunopathology and sustained activation that drives chronic disease. We will investigate novel molecular targets of vulnerable pathways that are essential to Leishmania viability, optimise techniques and diagnostic markers to predict and definitively categorize patient pathology profiles to inform more bespoke, effective treatment design. Our JCPiL will create new collaborations in order to build sustainable, fundable future projects and make an impact on this deadly disease. (AU)