Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Professor Wins Major Award; the Diseases Kill More Than 100,000 People Each Year

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Professor Wins Major Award; the Diseases Kill More Than 100,000 People Each Year

Article excerpt

NOT bad for a boy from the bush.

Born in Rockhampton and raised in Theodore, Peter Myler this week won a major international award recognising his world-class research in fighting the devastating but neglected diseases of leishmaniasis and chagas.

They cause the deaths of more than 100,000 people each year.

Professor Myler was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category for decades of work studying the parasites causing the leishmaniasis and chagas diseases.

For the last 20 years, Myler, Professor and Director of Core Services at The Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle, Washington, has been at the forefront of applying genomic technologies to increase understanding of the molecular mechanisms of these diseases.

The parasites Myler's career focuses on are leishmania and trypanosoma. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, the most common form in humans, is estimated to affect half a million people per year, mainly in North Africa, the Middle East, North West India and China. Trypanosoma cruzi is responsible for chagas disease, which affects from six to seven million people, primarily in Latin America. Another variant, trypanosoma brucei, causes sleeping sickness in Africa.

Professor Myler was born in Rockhampton in 1956 and spent his early childhood (1956-1969) in Theodore.

After graduation from Warwick High School (1970-1973), he attended the University of Queensland (1974-1982), receiving his B.Sc. (Hons) (Biochemistry) in 1977 and Ph.D. in 1982.

The latter involved malaria research performed under the supervision of Professor Chev Kidson at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

After conducting post-doctoral research in the USA on antigenic variation in African trypanosomes at the Issaquah Health Research Institute and Washington State University, Professor Myler was one of the forces behind the development of Seattle Biomed, forerunner of today's Center for Infectious Disease Research. …

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