Tanya Parish, PhD

Tanya  Parish,  PhD

Academic Title: Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine

Research Center: Center for Global Infectious Disease Research

"As a trained microbiologist, I am motivated to use my scientific knowledge to make a difference in global health. My previous work on the basic biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis formed an excellent foundation upon which to build a drug discovery team. Using knowledge of vulnerabilities in the bacterial pathogen, we can find tractable and novel drug targets. In addition, a grounding in bacterial physiology allows us to develop relevant screening platforms and to run a battery of experimental assays to select the best chemical series to work on in a drug discovery program. We work collaboratively with a large number of external partners, both industrial and academic, to advance new TB drugs. "


Research Description

My research team is comprised of both biologists and chemists focused on the global infectious disease tuberculosis. We work in two main areas.

First, we are working on discovering new drugs for tuberculosis. TB is the leading cause of death from an infectious disease, with about 1.5 million deaths every year. The current treatment takes more than 6 months and involves multiple drugs. Our work aims to find new drug candidates that can be combined into a novel drug treatment regimen, with the aim of reducing the overall time of treatment. New drugs should also be able to treat drug resistant TB, which is becoming a major problem.

Our research on the more basic science side is focused on understanding how antibiotics function. We focus on what leads to bacterial death when exposed to antibiotics. We also work on the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. I am especially interested in cell wall biosynthesis and aerobic respiration, as well as other essential cellular processes and gene regulation.