UGM Students Earns Bronze Medal in the 2019 Malaysia Techonolgy Expo

Four UGM students, Junita Solin (Agronomy), Stephanus Satria Wira Waskitha (Chemistry), Putra Makmur Boangmanalu (Chemistry), and Vidiskiu Fortino Kurniawan (Computer Science IUP), participated in the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2019, 21-23 February 2019. They gathered in a team to showcase an antimalarial drug innovation called Malaree.

Malaree is an alternative antimalarial drug developed from turmeric (Curcuma longa) extract. The plant is one of the largest rhizomes produced in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Junita explained that they produced this drug after doing several tests. As a first step, they conducted in silico tests with molecular docking methods and in vitro tests on the turmeric rhizome. The results showed that curcumin which was found as an active ingredient in turmeric had high antimalarial activities.

“We then combined this innovation with drug delivery nanolipid technology in the form of liposomes. It turns out that it improves the stability of curcumin and accelerates its penetration into blood cells,” she explained on Wednesday (27/2).

According to Junita, this project was motivated by malaria cases being one of the endemic diseases in Indonesia, which has so far been considered unsolved, such as in the eastern part of Indonesia.

World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended antimalarial drugs. However, Junita said that these drugs would cause strain resistant and side effects that endanger patients.

Therefore, she and her team tried to research other alternative medicines from ingredients that are more convenient for Indonesian communities. “We chose turmeric because it is a daily ingredient which is easily found around us and can be used as a malaria treatment option,” she said.

For this innovation, they won the Bronze Medal in the Asian Youth Innovation Awards 2019 category. “We are grateful for this achievement. Hopefully our innovation will be recognized by the government so that it can be useful to eradicate malaria outbreaks in Indonesia,” concluded Junita.






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