Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series Presents Jeremiah Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
“Addressing Unmet Needs in Cancer Therapy with Molecular Bottlebrush Prodrugs and Antibody Bottlebrush Conjugates (ABCs)”
Developing targeted cancer therapies that are both effective and safe remains a significant challenge. Tumor-selective nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery strategies, which encompass a broad range of conceptual paradigms, promise to improve patient outcomes; however, many challenges remain to fully realize such constructs’ potential in the clinic. Learnings from decades of research have shown that nanoparticle chemistry, which encompasses composition, size, shape, drug release mechanism, etc., plays key roles in such systems’ biological functions and their translatability.
Drawing from these learnings and inspired by antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), which are arguably the most successful “nanoparticle” delivery constructs in the clinic today, we have invented a molecular bottlebrush prodrug platform that seeks to unlock a broad range of new therapeutic strategies for cancer. This talk will describe the conception of our bottlebrush polymer prodrugs and describe recent examples where this platform has been leveraged to address unanswered questions in cancer therapy, including how synergistic combination therapies discovered in vitro can be translated in vivo, as well as how the timing of immune stimulation can provide access to safe yet more-effective cancer immunotherapies. Finally, monoclonal antibody–bottlebrush conjugates (ABCs) that overcome many of the limitations of ADCs will be introduced.
Get to Know Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah conducted undergraduate research with Prof. Karen L. Wooley at Washington University in St. Louis where he received a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a second major in chemistry. He then received a PhD in chemistry from Columbia University under the mentorship of Prof. Nicholas J. Turro and Prof. Jeffrey T. Koberstein. In 2011, following a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology under the guidance of Professors David A. Tirrell and Robert H. Grubbs, he moved to MIT, where he is now a Professor of Chemistry. He is also a member of the MIT Program for Polymers and Soft Matter (PPSM), the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. He is a Co-Founder of Window Therapeutics Inc. and Electrolyte Solutions Inc., both of which are based on technologies (co)developed in his laboratory at MIT.
Jeremiah received a 2019 ACS Cope Scholar Award, the 2018 Macromolecules-Biomacromolecules Young Investigator Award, the 2018 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Thieme Journal Award for Young Faculty, the DuPont Young Professor Award, the 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, and an NSF CAREER award. In 2019 and 2023 he was named as a Finalist for the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists. In recognition of his teaching, he was awarded the 2018 MIT School of Science Undergraduate Teaching Prize. The Johnson research group is focused on developing methods and strategies for synthesizing functional (macro)molecules and materials.