Michael Pollastri

Associate Professor Email: m.pollastri@neu.edu Phone: 617.373.2703


PhD, Brown University, Providence, RI
MS, Duke University, Durham, NC
AB, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Area(s) of Expertise

Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Technology

Research Interests

Prof. Pollastri’s primary research focus is on discovery of new therapeutics for neglected tropical diseases, using a “parachute” or “repurposing” approach. In this approach, he identifies parasitic targets of importance that have been previously biochemically validated, with a further focus on those targets with human homologs that have been pursued in human drug discovery. Prof. Pollastri’s lab then prepare known ligands previously reported against the human homolog for assessment against the parasite target, and then pursue an optimization program from that starting point. His lab’s first project is focused on trypanosomal phosphodiesterases, enzymes that have ~30% homology to human PDE4 and 5. Other projects focus on trypansomal TOR, Aurora kinases, dihydrofolate reductase, and HDACs.

Prof. Pollastrli’s secondary area of focus is on chemical technologies. Projects in this category include diversification of lead compounds using reaction screening approaches, applications of flow chemistry, and Green Chemistry.

Lab Website



417 Egan Research Center

Students join push to end neglected tropical diseases

A group of North­eastern stu­dents has joined the cru­sade to bring an end to the 17 neglected trop­ical dis­eases that affect more than 1 bil­lion people around the world. Called NEU END7, the group has been working since October to raise aware­ness of NTDs and help erad­i­cate the seven most common trop­ical infec­tions by 2020.

Chemistry professor raises $25,000 for NTD research

In one of the largest science-research-based crowdfunding campaigns to date, Northeastern University College of Science associate professor Michael Pollastri raised $25,031.

Fighting NTDs Through Crowdfunding

Professor Michael Pollastri is creating a new platform to share data with international researchers focused on neglected tropical diseases.

Crowdfunding drug discovery

The secrecy model that dominates drug discovery doesn’t work for neglected tropical diseases. Associate Professor Michael Pollastri hopes to shift that paradigm with a new platform for secure data-sharing.

Collaborating to fight diseases of the poor

Listen to chemistry professor Michael Pollastri talk about his work finding treatments for NTDs.

A bright future for infectious disease research

Every year, nearly a mil­lion people die from one of three infec­tious dis­eases that few of us have ever heard of.

NTDs – Neglected Tropical Diseases

Professor Michael Pollastri, a chemistry professor in the College of Science at Northeastern University, talked about NTDs – neglected tropical diseases.