Organoid High-Throughput Screening Platform for Cryptosporidioisis

Year of award: 2021


  • Dr Curtis Thorne

    University of Arizona, United States

  • Prof Ian Gilbert

    University of Dundee, United Kingdom

  • Dr Mattie Pawlowic

    University of Dundee, United Kingdom

  • Dr Manu De Rycker

    University of Dundee, United Kingdom

Project summary

Cryptosporidium is a waterborne, protozoan parasite that is a significant cause of child morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Cryptosporidiosis causes severe diarrhoea in children that leads to approximately 200,000 deaths per year and is a major contributor to malnutrition and growth stunting. There are no effective medicines for the treatment of malnourished children and immunocompromised adults suffering from cryptosporidiosis. The aim of this project is to develop a new way to test drugs for their ability to kill Cryptosporidium that more closely mimics the actual intestinal environment in patients. This more biologically realistic environment will allow us to discover new chemical start points for drug discovery. We will use human intestinal organoids, "miniature organs", that replicate the environment of the intestine in the lab. We will test compounds on a large scale, collect the data using microscopy, and evaluate the results using artificial intelligence.