James C. Parsons and Carrie Ann Quinn Director of the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases
As the director of the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, Kasturi Haldar leads an interdisciplinary team working feverishly to develop life-saving treatments for a host of illnesses that have been all but ignored by pharmaceutical companies. One key area of her research focuses on malaria, which kills an estimated one million of the world’s poor each year—mostly children. Here she leads the Notre Dame team in partnership with Eli Lilly & Co. and the Medicines for Malaria Venture to develop new drugs for malaria. Professor Haldar’s lab has pioneered new methods of targeting the malaria parasite, research that holds promise for the development of an effective anti-malarial vaccine.
In 2009, she was awarded a Grand Challenges Exploration grant—one of 81 scientists chosen from among 3,000 submitted proposals—by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further her work identifying vaccine targets for malaria; the grants are designed to help scientists around the world explore bold ideas for improving health in developing countries.
Prior to joining Notre Dame’s faculty in 2008, Professor Haldar held the Morrison Chair in Pathology at Northwestern University. She is currently editor-in-chief of the journal PLoS Pathogens.
James Parsons and Dr. Carrie Quinn, both 1996 graduates of the University, established this directorship in 2010 to support the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, which brings together researchers, drug companies, healthcare organizations, patients, and other invested parties to collaborate on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that otherwise receive little funding or academic attention.