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The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and goal number three is to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Target 3.3 is “By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.” IMSA’s scientific inquiries in research (SIR) program provides opportunities for students to perform research either on or off campus. In an attempt to offer more opportunities for on campus SIRs, two research projects began in January; one involving malaria and the other tuberculosis. In the malaria research, the enzyme HGXPRT from Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that causes malaria, was chosen as a drug target, because of its importance in de novo DNA synthesis. In the tuberculosis research, the enzyme isocitrate lyase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis was chosen as a target because this enzyme is important for tuberculosis to be able to survive inside of white blood cells.



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