SOUTH BEND - An $11.5 million, federally-funded study on drug-resistant malaria is being led by the University of Notre Dame. The partnership with the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute is supported by the National Institutes of Health will focus on the genes responsible for drug resistance of the parasite that carries the disease.

The researchers will examine genetically-crossed malaria parasites as they aim to identify the genes that cause drug resistance. Notre Dame Biological Sciences Professor Michael Ferdig is leading the study and says "this will allow us to speed the rate of discovery using genetic crosses by tenfold. We've generated more genetic crosses in the past three years than were generated in the 30 years prior. We will now have time to see drug resistance emerging so that we can devise ways to stop it in its tracks."

Notre Dame says the research program's ultimate goal is open-source sharing with the research community.