Dr. Michael Riscoe is the director of the Experimental Chemotherapy Laboratory and he is a professor in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department at Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Riscoe's laboratory focuses on the discovery, optimization and development of antiparasitic drugs, especially drugs for treatment and prevention of malaria. Using modern methods of chemical synthesis and drug design his laboratory has developed novel antimalarial chemotypes that are orally bioavailable and curative in mouse models of malaria. Examples of these drugs include:
- Dual functional acridones with blood stage activity that interact synergistically with 4-aminoquinolines such as chloroquine.
- 4(1H)-quinolones that block parasite respiration and act against the blood, liver and gametocyte (i.e., transmission stage) stages of parasite development.
- 4-aminoquinoline derivatives (so-called "pharmachins"), designed to replace chloroquine, which are active against multidrug resistant strains and at least 10 times more potent than chloroquine against malaria in mice.
His research team also employs the techniques of biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics and pharmacology to explore mechanisms of drug action and resistance.
Dr. Riscoe's laboratory receives support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health and the Medicines for Malaria Venture, and he maintains an active collaboration with members of the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research. He continues to serve as a reviewer of the US DOD's Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIDRP). The long-term objective of Dr. Riscoe's malaria research is to develop drugs that are inexpensive, safe and curative in treatment of the most vulnerable populations, young children and pregnant women, and ultimately to develop a cocktail of drugs that may be used to eradicate the disease.