Nathan Schmidt gives insight on Malaria treatment

Dr. Schmidt shows his Malaria presentation at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Dr. Schmidt shows his Malaria presentation at Thompson-Boling Arena.


Nathan Schmidt, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and his laboratory assistants are working to find a treatment for Malaria.

Malaria may not be problematic in the United States but people are still affected. The Center for Disease Control website states that malaria is prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical climates and has a higher fatality rate in third world countries. Malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, who then spreads the parasite from host-to-host as it attacks red blood cells. Approximately 50 percent of the world lives in malaria-endemic regions in which 1 million people die from malaria annually.

“While anti-malarial drugs have been effective at treating infected individuals, drug-resistance is a common problem and they do not prevent re-infection. Alternatively, an efficacious vaccine for malaria has the potential to prevent infection and lead towards the eradication of this parasite. Given the need for a malaria vaccine,” Schmidt said.

The driving question Schmidt’s team searches for is “Why have we not been able to develop a vaccine against the parasite and why does it increase the chances of being infected with a different pathogen?”

“Honestly, I think we are years away from finding a vaccine, but it is very rewarding to see my team and I move further into discovering the most effective way to treat Malaria,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt’s presentation on “A ‘Sweet’ Approach to Treating Malaria” was the last discussion hosted by UT’s Science Forum for Fall 2013.


Edited by Nichole Stevens 


Downtown street performer gets ordinance involving masks amended

An illusionist and costume designer is still able to perform after his meeting with the City Council of Knoxville about an ordinance that bans wearing masks in public.

Justin Webb, street performer, has performed in Market Square for around three months. He dresses up as spiderman and ironman. Webb claims he never had any problems with the police until recently when KPD Officer S. Frazier issued a citation for wearing a mask. The citation has no detail other than the ordinance number, City Code 19-62, and the words “Mask (Spiderman).”

“It was a $115 ticket, and I was not just going to pay it,” Webb said.

The ordinance basically states, no mask or other devices can be worn on public or private property.

“The ordinance is far too ambiguous. The way it’s written, it would apply to anyone. It could be medical gear, religious head dresses, even Vol fans with their faces painted orange. I just want my freedom of expression,” says Webb.

Vague laws give police discretion, making citizen’s confused on what the laws actually are. This meeting gave a better understanding of what people can and can’t do.

As Webb approached the stand he gave his thanks to the City Council members.

“It’s very rewarding and hopeful to see that people are willing to work for the common good for the small people. As small as we performers may be. You have my deepest gratitude whether it is opposed or approved. I appreciate it.”

The City Council approved for the ordinance to be removed. The law has been amended. He is now allowed to perform in full costume. He has to remove mask and show identification when asked.

“I think tonight showed, when you show them the proper respect, they will show it back. It is unconstitutionally applied. I am more than grateful,” Webb expressed.

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Justin Webb dressed as Ironman.

City Council members during the decision of approval or denial of the ordinance.