Rhodes con­fer­ence con­nects con­ti­nents for af­ford­able cures

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE - By CATHER­INE DEINER

Rhodes Uni­ver­sity hosted the Frank Warren Con­fer­ence from 4 to 8 De­cem­ber 2016 with a strong medic­i­nal chem­istry theme, es­pe­cially for poverty re­lated dis­eases such as tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, HIV/Aids and malaria, preva­lent in Africa. “These dis­eases af­fect mil­lions of peo­ple, the treat­ments have to be dirt cheap and so there’s not a lot of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­ter­est in putting mil­lions into it,” said Prof Rui Krause, Head of the Chem­istry De­part­ment at Rhodes Uni­ver­sity, and or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber for the con­fer­ence. “There’s been a grow­ing re­al­i­sa­tion in South Africa that if we don’t start to train peo­ple that can look at the medic­i­nal chem­istry as­pect, the pro­duc­tion as­pect, that can un­der­stand the dis­ease from the bi­ol­ogy, dis­ease, treat­ment per­spec­tive, no­body is go­ing to be do­ing it.” This premier In­ter­na­tional Or­ganic Chem­istry Con­fer­ence drew over 170 del­e­gates from South Amer­ica, Ar­gentina, Asia and Africa.

“We have tried to link within some peo­ple from South Amer­ica, who face very simi- lar kinds of con­di­tions and they have sim­i­lar kinds of dis­eases, for ex­am­ple a huge bur­den of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. Oth­ers deal with malaria and leish­man­isas, all dis­eases that pre­dom­i­nantly af­fect coun­tries in South Amer­ica, Africa, Asia, and for which there is not a lot of money for re­search,” Krause said. The se­ries was hosted in mem­ory of Pro­fes­sor Frank L Warren, con­sid­ered to be one of the lead­ing sci­en­tists of his gen­er­a­tion. • Cather­ine Deiner is Rhodes Uni­ver­sity’s for­mer me­dia

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