Research tackles microbes to fight disease

By Peter Kent

Kerry SmithEach year 70,000 people around the world die from amoebic dysentery, which is caused by a microscopic parasite.

Geneticist Kerry Smith’s research on the biochemical pathways in disease-causing microbes could change that. He is studying how simple life forms make and regulate energy – and how to disrupt the process to prevent diseases.

Smith’s work focuses on the single-celled protozoan that is connected with amoebic dysentery (E. histolytica) and on a fungus that is associated with fungal meningitis (C. neoformans).

His research, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, seeks to discover new medicines that could improve the health of millions of people worldwide.

For information: Kerry Smith, 864-656-6935,