Getting Hands-On Experience


St. Mary's chemistry and biochemistry majors were busy this summer participating in research and medical internships on campus and around the country.  Ashton Engdahl (above) spent her summer developing a green synthesis of functionalized pyrroles on campus with a paid research internship through our campus SMURF program.

Awards Aplenty in New Orleans

A generous contribution from the John J. Leidy Foundation allowed eight St. Mary's students to attend the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans where they presented posters describing their research.  Josh Olexa ('13) explains his poster to a judge, and former American Chemical Society president, in the Speak Simply Contest where students were judged on their ability to explain their research. St. Mary's was well represented, as Josh and Greg Triegger ('13) were both awarded for their posters.

Bintu Sowe

"Malaria: History, Lifecycle and Mechanism of Drug Resistance in the Plasmodium Parasite"

Bintu J. Sowe
Mentor: Dr. Pamela Mertz
St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2006-2007
   Malaria dates back about 4000 years. It has always been one of the world's most dangerous diseases. Malaria was once a worldwide problem, however today, with the recent developments of semi effective control methods, malaria is only a threat in tropical and developing regions of the world. Malaria is caused by a protozoan parasite, Plasmodium, which depends on vertebrates and the Anopheles female mosquito as its hosts to complete its full life cycle. With the discovery of the Cinchona bark and Qinghao having antimalarial activities, treatment of the disease is possible. Due to the natural process of evolution, however, the parasite has developed mechanisms to resist these treatments. In past efforts to control or eradicate malaria and Plasmodium species, the parasite was able to build tolerance to the many analogs of the herbal antimalarial compounds developed.
In this paper, I review the mechanism of the Plasmodium parasite lifecycle, the different drug mechanisms of action against the parasite and the mechanisms of resistance the parasite has developed in response to the drugs.