Ravi Durvasula, M.D.
Department of Internal Medicine
Health Sciences Center, The University of New Mexico
Chief of Medicine
New Mexico VA Health Care System
Ecopesticides International, Inc. (NM Start-up Factory/STC start-up)
Dr. Durvasula has disclosed six inventions, has four pending patent applications, and one exclusive option to license agreement with start-up Ecopesticides International, Inc., for his fungal-based agricultural biopesticide technology.
The biopesticide technology uses a method in which a naturally occurring pesticide is encapsulated in a UV resistant gel. The gel allows for a longer lasting and more effective pesticide. Naturally occurring pesticides (bacteria or fungi) are frequently used, but limited due to their rapid degradation in UV light and high heat. This technology is safer than traditional pesticides, ecofriendly and has already received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Durvasula’s research focuses on transgenic and paratransgenic approaches to control of vector-borne diseases such as Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis. Chagas disease, or American Trypanosomiasis, remains a leading cause of heart disease in Central and South America, with close to 12 million afflicted individuals, 40 million at-risk individuals and 50,000 deaths per year. It is caused by the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, and is transmitted to humans by triatomine or kissing bugs. Over 300 million Leishmaniasis cases in more than 80 countries are diagnosed each year. Parasites of the genus Leishmania are transmitted to humans via sandfly vectors. Visceral Leishmaniasis, termed kala azar, is endemic to India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Dr. Durvasula currently has collaborative research programs in Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina and India. His research also involves development of novel paratransgenic delivery systems for application at human mucosal surfaces.
UNM-Affiliated Pending Patent Applications
|Fluorescent Fusion Polypeptides and Methods of Use|
|Cultured Extremophilic Algae Species Native to New Mexico|
|Microencapsulation as a Strategy for Implementation and Environmental Safeguarding of a Paratransgenic Approach to Control of Vector-borne Diseases|
|Split Fluorescent Polypeptide System|