Carved panel, Lloyd Institute doorway
14 | Parade Ground: Leprosy, malaria and the science of your brain
In the 1940s, scientists based in TCD set out to find a chemical cure for tuberculosis. Instead they found a cure for leprosy – a fine example of serendipity in science. Their compound, called Clofazimine, is still recommended by the World Health Organization as a first-line drug for treating leprosy.
More recently, TCD biochemists, working with colleagues in Oxford University, discovered a gene called Mal, that plays a crucial role in malaria and several other infectious diseases including TB and pneumonia. Prof Luke O'Neill and his team are now investigating what this gene does, research that could lead to a new treatment for a host of serious infections.
The award-winning leprosy research was conducted in a building (since demolished) in the Parade Ground, which is now home to the School of Biochemistry and Immunology and, in the Lloyd Institute, the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience.
Today, neuroscientists at TCD study how our brain and memory work, and research the causes and genetics of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and schizophrenia.One of the lead scientists here is even a best-selling author of books that can help you to improve your brain and memory: 'mind doctor' Prof Ian Robertson, and you can buy his books next door in the Science Gallery shop 1 at the end of this trail.