Otto Maass Chemistry Building, McGill University
801 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6
Among the central tenants of Chemical Biology is that new chemistry can be learned by a careful examination of biology at the extremes. Parasites by definition live at the extreme of the manifold of host/guest interactions and it is not surprising that their biochemistry often attains high levels of sophistication. We are currently engaged in projects to understand the unique heme metabolism exhibited by Plasmodia during the malaria infection of redblood cells. To this end we have solved the structure of the heme by-product and determined the fundamental chemistry of its crystal growth and interaction with antimalarial drugs. In addition to this avenue of research we also have substantial NSERC support for research into the chemical biology of nitric oxide and other immunoinorganic cytotoxins.