New drugs for malaria with novel modes of action are urgently required to combat drug resistance by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.  Furthermore, drugs effective against multiple stages of the parasite life-cycle are also required to contribute to malaria elimination.  In this regard Plasmodium kinases essential to both asexual blood stages of the parasite life-cycle as well as the sexual stages responsible for transmission of infection are important drug targets.

This lecture will describe a phenotypic-based drug discovery process which led to the identification of a clinical candidate, mechanism of action studies to identify the Plasmodium falciparum phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PfPI4K) as the target and establishment of a kinase-focused malaria drug discovery programme.


Kelly Chibale is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he holds the Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric Drug Discovery & Development. He is also a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine, a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit at UCT and the Founder and Director of the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D).

Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK (1989-1992).  This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool in the UK (1992-94) and at the Scripps Research Institute in the USA (1994-96). He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California San Francisco (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008) and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer in the UK (2008).

In 2018 Kelly was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



Please contact the convener for password details (p.sharpe@uq.edu.au)