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Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series Presents Arturo Vegas, Boston University

“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.

Formulating therapeutics with nanocarriers often improves pharmacological properties. However, 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. Here, we review the new targeting technologies and polymeric delivery systems developed in our lab. We aim to expand the current suite of targeting agents and nanocarriers by establishing new targeting paradigms and novel materials that enable the localization of therapeutic payloads to disease microenvironments.

Get to Know Arturo Vegas

Dr. Arturo J. Vegas is the Peter Paul Career Development Professor at Boston University. He is appointed in the Department of Chemistry and has affiliations with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Division. He is a core faculty member of the BU Center for Molecular Discovery, the BU Nanotechnology Innovation Center, and the Biological Design Center, and is Co-Director of the Translational Research in Biomaterials Training Program. He was recently awarded a New Innovator Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award by the NIH and an Innovator Award by the JDRF.

Arturo received his BA in Biology from Cornell University and a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University. His doctoral studies under the direction of 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. His work has been published in multiple high-impact journals, including Nature Biotechnology and Nature Medicine, and has led to 12 patents, both issued and pending. He has also co-founded two local biotech startups (Preceres and Sigilon Therapeutics).

The Vegas research group pursues general and systematic approaches to developing targeted therapeutic carriers and strategies for treating multiple human diseases. Projects in the lab are focused on developing novel chemical tools, materials, and approaches for targeting therapeutics for diseased tissues, emphasizing cancer and diabetes. These new tools will facilitate studies in the lab to understand mechanisms that control the physiological distribution of therapeutics and inform future targeting element design.

Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series Presents Arturo Vegas, Boston University

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Date & Time:
Thu, May 11, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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International Institute for Nanotechnology