Malaria is the third deadliest infectious disease in the world, with the search for novel drugs remaining as one of the top global health priorities. Amongst promising anti-malarial drug targets are Plasmodium protein kinases implicated in important signaling functions. Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) are essential kinases regulated by calcium and cGMP second messenger, respectively. In this presentation I will introduce my work on the development of high throughput drug-screening program that has led to the discovery of novel potent inhibitors of CDPK1. Another part of my talk will focus on the structural and functional characterization of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase.
Dr. El Bakkouri is a Scientist in the Biological Sciences Division at Paraza Pharma Inc. in Montreal. Prior to joining Paraza in 2016, Dr. El Bakkouri was a Scientist at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SCG) in Toronto from 2012-2016 and was responsible for implementing drug discovery programs on protein kinases with Prof. Aled Edwards and Dr. Raymond Hui.
Dr. El Bakkouri obtained her PhD in 2008 in Biochemistry and Structural Biology, at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble-France. Under the direction of Prof. Rob W.H. Ruigrok and Dr. Guy Schoehn she conducted biochemical and biophysical studies on adenoviruses capsid proteins. This was followed by postdoctoral studies in the Department of Biochemistry at University of Toronto from 2008-2012 mentored by Prof. Walid Houry on structure-function studies of key chaperon proteins in the acidic stress response in bacteria.