IBB Breakfast Club Seminar Series

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"Creating Therapeutic Materials from Proteins"
Julie Champion, PhD - Assistant Professor, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Protein drugs can provide a key advantage over small molecule drugs; they evolved to perform their function, while small molecules are often selected for “best” function compared to a pool of candidates. However, proteins can present challenges in delivery that must be overcome in order to be used as therapeutic drugs. Though their folded structure is critical to their biological function and makes them sensitive and difficult to package, this structure also provides an opportunity to create materials from them that is not available for small molecules. The main goal of our work is to engineer materials made from therapeutic proteins, and control the interactions between these materials and cells for applications in cancer, inflammation and vaccines. Though most therapeutic proteins are replicates or altered forms of human proteins, we are looking towards the proteomes of bacterial pathogens for candidates with functionalities not found in current small molecule or protein drugs. I will discuss some of the bacterial proteins we are investigating and their potential as novel therapeutics. Simultaneously, we are engineering a variety of different materials that incorporate these proteins, protect them, and direct their presentation to cells. I will show some of the materials we have made using self-assembly and covalent chemistry approaches and discuss our progress in using these as therapies for breast cancer and inflammation.

The IBB Breakfast Club seminar series was started with the spirit of the Institute's interdisciplinary mission in mind. The goal of the seminar series is to highlight research taking place throughout the institute to enable the IBB community to further collaborative opportunities and interdisciplinary research. Faculty are often asked to speak at other universities and conferences, but rarely present at their home institution, this seminar series is an attempt to close that gap. The IBB Breakfast Club is open to anyone in the bio-community. Continental breakfast and coffee will be served.


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    Colly Mitchell
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    Fletcher Moore
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