Marina Musa named 2021 Charles H. Best Fellow
Postdoctoral researcher Marina Musa has been awarded the Charles H. Best fellowship for 2021.
The prestigious annual award recognizes an outstanding postdoctoral candidate in the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research whose research has the potential to benefit society. Established in 2001, the fellowship is awarded by The Charles H. Best Foundation in the memory of one of the discoverers of insulin at U of T.
Musa joined the lab of Andy Fraser, a professor of molecular genetics in the Donnelly Centre, to study the metabolism of parasitic round worms which infect the guts of around one billion people worldwide, mostly in poor countries where they have long-lasting effects on development and health. Meanwhile, a growing resistance among the parasites to the existing medications means that new drugs are urgently needed.
Musa is investigating how bacteria in the worm gut, or microbiome, contribute to infection. Her goal is to identify the chemicals produced by the bacteria that are essential for the parasites’ survival inside the host gut.
“What we are studying is essentially a biological puzzle with the host, the parasite and the microbiome all affecting each other, and there is a lot of variability and uncertainty, and this fellowship is a great encouragement to continue with research,” says Musa.
“I am very excited to see where this project takes us in the future.”