ULM logo
ULM professor earns $56,000 Board of Regents grant

Published June 19, 2015

As part of the Louisiana Board of Regents Research and Development Program, Dr. Srinivas Garlapati, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, was granted $56,350 to study alternative treatments for giardiasis—a parasitic intestinal infection found in streams, lakes, pools, spas, and wells.

Symptoms of giardiasis include abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

According to Garlapati, the parasite infects up to 20 percent of the world’s population, and is the most common intestinal parasitic disease and major cause of waterborne outbreak of diarrhea in the United States.

Garlapati says the most popular drug choice to treat giardiasis is metronidazole, and he plans to study the infection’s genome and interacting proteins to find alternative medication sources to treating giardiasis.


“Adverse side effects (of metronidazole), and drug resistant strains have necessitated the search for new drug treatments,” he said.

The study will be done in conjunction with Dr. Benjamin Kelly, associate professor of microbiology, immunology, and parasitology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans.

Kelly will assist by providing specialized software, facilities, and equipment for analysis.

Garlapati’s research will be funded for two years. During that time, he plans to collect and summarize data and subsequently present his research results. The funds will also allow Garlapati to recruit new graduate assistants. Part of the funds will help pay their yearly stipends.

Garlpati cites the Louisiana Office of Public Health as a source to why he feels his research is vital.

“The state has experienced an increasing incidence rate among children aged 1-4,” he said. “Giardiasis affects three times more children than adults.”

After submitting his work in fall 2016, Garlapati plans to pursue funding from the National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award.

Garlapati has studied the parasite for over a decade, and has developed and optimized several molecular biology techniques and tools to manipulate its gene expression. He has had six articles published in peer-reviewed molecular biology journals pertaining to his study of giardia.

Garlapati earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Osmania University in India, and both a Master’s of Science degree and Ph.D. from Madurai Kamaraj University. He conducted his post-doctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco.

Garlapati has taught at ULM since 2014.