Huang wins this year’s Spector Prize

The Spector Prize, first awarded in 1974, recognizes academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate achievement in research. Students are nominated by their research mentors for outstanding research that has made substantial contributions to a field. This year, the prize has been awarded to Deborah Huang, who plans to graduate this month with a major in biochemistry and molecular biology and a minor in public health.

Malaria discovery may aid vaccine design

A new study provides details that will help scientists design better vaccines and drug treatments for Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) a dangerous form of malaria common in India, Southeast Asia and South America.

2013 Spector Prize goes to two students

This year the Spector Prize has been awarded to two students, Megan Kelly and Jennifer Stevens.The prize, given by the Department of Biology in memory of a 1938 WUSTL graduate, recognizes outstanding undergraduate achievement in research. Kelly did research on the chemical signals used by malaria parasites and Stevens on evolutionary trade-offs in weakly electric fish.

Cancer drugs may help stop major parasite

A parasite estimated to afflict as many as 12 million people worldwide relies on a family of genes that should make it vulnerable to compounds developed to treat cancer and other disorders, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

Strep bacteria spreads infection via wasplike ‘stinger’

An electron micrograph of strep bacteria infecting muscle tissueMicrobiologists at the School of Medicine discovered that Strep A, the bacteria responsible for strep throat and other more serious disorders, has a wasplike “stinger” it uses to infect cells. Scientists had expected to find a random profusion of pumps for spraying infection-related compounds. The newly discovered, dedicated stinger could prove to be an easier target for new infection-preventing drugs.