In The News: Jennifer Shepherd's Research Could Help Develop New Drugs to Treat Parasites

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Jennifer Shepherd stands in a lab
Chemistry and biochemistry professor Jennifer Shepherd

May 31, 2024
The Inlander

Spokane newspaper The Inlander recently published its annual "Scholastic Fantastic" issue, focused on research being conducted at Inland Northwest colleges and universities, and the incredible work being done by chemistry and biochemistry professor Jennifer Shepherd is featured

Shepherd, also the interim dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science for the upcoming year, has spent more than two decades working on research into a compound called rhodoquinone, or RQ, that's made by parasites and microbes.

"I've spent pretty much the majority of my career trying to figure out how these organisms make rhodoquinone," Shepherd told the Inlander. "The enzymes that are needed to make it, those are selective targets that we can try to inhibit or shut down."

The goal for Shepherd and her fellow researchers is to create new medications targeting those enzymes to fight parasitic infections, especially in places like Ghana where parasitic infections are common, and where Shepherd has worked and traveled several times. 

You can read the entire Inlander article, "Gonzaga research could help develop new drugs to treat parasites by targeting a unique compound," by clicking here

Watch a video about Shepherd's research