Chemical Biology and Screening Platform
Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory – LNBio-CNPEM
Lucio Freitas-Junior is a molecular parasitologist that has been working in the field of tropical diseases for the past 23 years. From 2009 to 2013 Dr. Freitas-Junior was the director of the Center for Neglected Diseases Drug Discovery (CND3) at Institut Pasteur Korea, where his group worked on assay development, high throughput screening and lead optimization for Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Malaria and Dengue. Among the work developed by the team led by Dr Freitas-Junior, the development of image-based high throughput/high content drug screening assay for visceral leishmaniasis was a breakthrough in the field because it allowed, for the first time, the screening of chemical compounds against the mammalian form of Leishmania donovani, the clinically relevant form of the parasite. This assay has been used to screen over 700,000 compounds for leishmaniasis, in collaboration with different Pharma partners and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, radically changing the drug discovery landscape for this devastating neglected disease. Since 2013 Dr. Freitas-Junior is at the National Center of Research on Energy and Materials, where he continues to develop translational research on drug discovery for neglected diseases, focusing on Chagas disease, Leishmaniasis, Dengue and Chikungunya. Lucio Freitas-Junior is also working on the implementation of a Brazilian Drug Discovery Consortium, to combine multidisciplinary academic expertise in different fields of the discovery sciences to produce drugs against these diseases and, by doing so, aiding on the development of a product-oriented drug discovery matrix in the Brazilian Academia.