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Dean's Award for Excellence in Research (Early Career) 2009

Sheena McGowan

Dr Sheena McGowan, Research Fellow, has been awarded the Deans Award for Excellence in Research (Early Career) 2009.  Dr McGowan has demonstrated that she has achieved the highest levels of sustained excellence in research, based on research achievements over the last 5 years.

Dr McGowan is a post-doctoral researcher who currently uses structural biology to design novel antimalarial drugs. Malaria remains the world's most parasitic disease.  Due to the rapid spread of drug-resistant parasites there is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs.  Malaria parasites use three genetically essential protease enzymes to facilitate the final stages of haemoglobin digestion, acting in concert to provide the parasite with nutrients.  This process is essential to survival and therefore an ideal target for chemotherapeutic intervention strategies.  Dr McGowan investigates the structure and function of the essential malarial aminopeptidases from Plasmodium falciparum, with the aim to design novel anti-malarial drugs.