MSE Colloquium Speaker Arturo Vegas
- 3:00 pm on Friday, March 29, 2019
- 4:00 pm on Friday, March 29, 2019
- 15 Saint Mary's Street room 105
Assistant Professor, Chem, BME & MSE
Faculty Host: Sahar Sharifzadeh
Student Host: Arielle Cohen
Refreshments at 2:45 PM
Molecular Frontiers in Drug Delivery
Therapeutic agents, such as small molecule drugs, are developed to preferentially modulate the function of specific classes of proteins associated with diseased cellular states. These agents are typically not designed to overcome physiological barriers or localize to diseased tissues in the body, and often manifest off-target adverse effects from indiscriminate biodistribution. Formulation of therapeutics with nanocarriers often improves pharmacological properties, but ligands (small molecules, peptides, or proteins) that target unique molecular features of diseased tissue are commonly needed to direct their physiological biodistribution. While there is some success targeting nanocarriers to certain tissues, to date there are few ligands utilized with a limited scope of targeted tissues. We propose to expand the current suite of targeting agents and nanocarriers by establishing new targeting paradigms and novel materials that enable localization of therapeutic payloads to disease microenvironments, with a focus on cancer and type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Arturo J. Vegas is the Peter Paul Career Development Professor at Boston University. Appointed in the Department of Chemistry, he also has affiliations with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Division of Materials Science and Engineering, and is a core faculty member of both the BU Center for Molecular Discovery as well as the BU Nanotechnology Innovation Center. He was awarded a New Innovator Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award by the NIH. Arturo's lab integrates expertise from the areas of organic synthesis, chemical biology, materials science, and biomedical engineering to address challenging problems in drug delivery. The lab is developing novel chemical tools, materials and approaches for targeting therapeutics to diseased tissues and enabling new medical technologies, with therapeutic emphasis on cancer and diabetes. Arturo received his BA in Biology from Cornell University and a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University. His doctoral studies with Professor Stuart Schreiber at Harvard focused on developing novel drug-like compounds that modulate chromatin-modifying enzymes, now popular targets for cancer therapeutics. His postdoctoral work with Professors Robert Langer and Daniel G. Anderson at MIT led to the development of new materials for cell encapsulation, cell-based therapies, and nucleic acid delivery.