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Conor R. Caffrey, PhD

Research Interests

Tropical parasitic diseases (among the ‘neglected’ tropical diseases) exact a huge toll on the health and productivity of the world’s poorest people.  In many cases, drugs in use have serious side-effects, require expert care in administration and fail due to established or emerging drug resistance.  To accelerate drug discovery for these diseases, I’m actively developing quantitative high-throughput tools, in particular, for schistosomiasis, a disease that is caused by the bloodfluke Schistosoma and infects a staggering 200 million people worldwide.  I am also involved in identifying and testing novel chemistries that might move forward as leads to treat diseases like schistosomiasis and Human African trypanosomiasis or ‘sleeping sickness.’ Particularly fascinating is that many of the molecular targets for novel therapy are shared across parasitic organisms as diverse as protozoa, worms and ectoparasites such as ticks.  My research is highly collaborative and cross-disciplinary involving parasite biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, high throughput and high content analyses, chemistry and pharmaceutical development.

Selected Publications

  • Vermeire JJ, Lantz LD, Caffrey CR. Cure of hookworm infection with a cysteine protease inhibitor. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Jul;6(7):e1680. Epub 2012 Jul 3.
  • Steverding D, Sexton DW, Wang X, Gehrke SS, Wagner GK, Caffrey CR. Trypanosoma brucei: chemical evidence that cathepsin L is essential for survival and a relevant drug target. Int J Parasitol. 2012 May 1;42(5):481-8. Epub 2012 Apr 24.
  • Sojka D, Franta Z, Frantová H, Bartosová P, Horn M, Váchová J, O'Donoghue AJ, Eroy-Reveles AA, Craik CS, Knudsen GM, Caffrey CR, McKerrow JH, Mares M, Kopácek P. Characterization of gut-associated cathepsin D hemoglobinase from tick Ixodes ricinus (IrCD1). J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 15;287(25):21152-63.
  • Lee H, Moody-Davis A, Saha U, Suzuki BM, Asarnow D, Chen S, Arkin M, Caffrey CR, Singh R. Quantification and clustering of phenotypic screening data using
    time-series analysis for chemotherapy of schistosomiasis. BMC Genomics. 2012;13 Suppl 1:S4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-S1-S4. Epub 2012 Jan 17.
  • PLoS Medicine, 4:e14. (2007).
  • Connor R. Caffrey, PhD
    Associate Research Scientist
  • Department of Pathology

Research Theme

Liver Injury and Repair

Contact Information

  • California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Byers Hall BH501E
  • 1700 4th Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94158-2330

Other UCSF Affiliations

  • The Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases



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