Cleveland State University was granted $1.78 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study African sleeping sickness - a sometimes fatal parasitic disease similar to malaria that has become an endemic in certain regions of sub-Saharan Africa.
Research by CSU's Dr. Bibo Li has been featured on the cover of the prestigious science journal, Cell. Since that time, she has made ground breaking discoveries in sleeping sickness and is widely considered one of the leading researchers into its treatment and cure.
Trypanosome brucei is a protozoan parasite spread by tsetse fly. The parasite enters the nervous system and begins to exhaust the human immune system. The name, sleeping sickness, comes from the host succumbing to abnormally long periods of sleep through recurring fevers, which can eventually lead to a coma. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.
It is estimated that as many as 70,000 people are currently infected with many more cases gone unreported in underdeveloped regions of Africa. About 48,000 people died of sleeping disease in 2008, according to the World Health Organization.
The research is housed under CSU's Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease. In the past year the NIH has granted the CSU center with more the $5 million for various studies, including the treatment of heart attacks, strokes and other inflammatory diseases.
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for engaged learning. With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, eight colleges and approximately 200 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2011 as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
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