Biomedical Engineering

“Protein Assembly to Create Therapeutic Materials”

Dr. Julie Champion
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

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. Their folded
structure is critical to their biological function, but makes them sensitive and difficult to
package. This structure also provides an opportunity to create materials from proteins
that is not available for small molecules. The main goal of our work is to engineer
materials made directly from therapeutic proteins. This is accomplished through a
combination of self-assembly and/or bio-conjugation processes. The ability to control
these processes is essential to manipulating material physical properties, ensuring
retention of protein activity, and directing the interactions between the materials and
cells. The strategies developed here provide opportunities to work with unlikely proteins,
such as those from pathogenic bacteria, and transform them from disease causing
agents into beneficial therapeutic materials. Protein design, self-assembly and
disassembly properties, and applications of therapeutic protein materials in
immunomodulation and cancer will be discussed.

Colburn Lab, Room 366
University of Delaware
150 Academy Street
Newark, DE 19716

Hosting Organization:
Biomedical Engineering
University of Delaware

April 14, 2015

10:00 am