Keynote Address

Akhil Vaidya

Akhil B. Vaidya is the Director of the Center for Molecular Parasitology at Drexel University College of Medicine. His early work involved studies on retroviruses and breast cancer. Since the 1980s, however, his lab has focused on molecular biology of malaria parasites. Vaidya discovered the unusual mitochondrial DNA of malaria parasites, a finding that led to a fundamental shift in our understanding of the evolutionary origins of apicomplexan parasites. His research involves explorations of mitochondrial functions in malaria parasites with a view to find antimalarial drugs, and understand their mode of action and resistance. Vaidya led a team that discovered new antimalarial compounds that disrupt sodium and lipid homeostasis in parasites.  This work is providing insights into parasite physiology pointing to mechanisms that result in rapid parasite clearance in malaria patients. 

Past MPM Keynote Speakers

2019: Stephen Beverley, Washington University in St. Louis

2018: Stephen L. Hajduk, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Georgia

2017: Isabel Roditi, Institute of Cell Biology, University of Bern

2016: Robert Sinden, Emeritus Professor, Imperial College London

2015: Bill Petri, University of Virginia

2014: Thomas Wellems, NIAID, NIH

2013: Elisabetta Ullu, Yale School of Medicine

2012: John Boothroyd, Stanford School of Medicine

2011: George Cross, The Rockefeller University

2010: Fotis Kafatos, Imperial College London

2009: Ken Stuart, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

2008: Piet Borst, The Netherlands Cancer Institute

2007: Victor Nussensweig, New York University

2006: Dyann Wirth, Harvard University

2005: Paul Englund, The Johns Hopkins University