Faculty and students present on cutting-edge topics at AAPS PharmSci 360 Conference

AAPS

By Kara Sweet

Published November 13, 2018

University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty and students presented on a wide variety of current and cutting-edge topics at the annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) PharmSci 360 conference, held Nov. 4-7 in Washington, DC.

Juliane Nguyen, assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, presented "Modulating the Function of Cancer-derived Exosomes through Repackaging" during the Process Controls, Manufacturing, and Engineering Challenges – Chemical symposia. Nguyen has developed RNA-based EXO-Codes that have the ability to reprogram pathological, tumorigenic exosomes and repackage them with anti-cancer small RNAs. These EXO-Codes represent a novel drug delivery platform specifically designed to interrupt pathological, exosome-based communication between cells.

Donald Mager, BS '91, PharmD '00 & PhD '02, professor and vice-chair, pharmaceutical sciences, presented "PBPL Modeling of Biologics: Current Status in Decision Making" as part of the Regulatory Applications and Decision Making - Biomolecular symposia. During his presentation, Mager described the basic tenets of PBPK modeling of biologics and presented several examples in which PBPK modeling could be used to guide decision making at various stages of drug development.

Marilyn Morris, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chair, pharmaceutical sciences, discussed "Megalin: Role in Kidney Endocytosis of Proteins and Peptides" during the Picking the Winning Candidate - Biomolecular symposia. She explored the role of megalin/cubilin renal endocytosis in protein and peptide disposition, including that of protein therapeutics, and the role of megalin/cubilin in the renal toxicity of peptide-like drugs, including gentamicin and polymyxin. Morris also discussed research findings regarding the effects of disease on megalin-mediated protein endocytosis in the kidney.

As part of the Emerging Research Tools - Biomolecular symposia, Morris also presented "CRISPR - In-vitro and In-vivo Preclinical Applications." CRISPR/Cas9, or “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated protein 9,” has been responsible for major advances in gene screening and editing. With the improvement of gene delivery methodologies and transfection efficiency, CRISPR has overcome many hurdles in its development from early stage, cellular engineering to in vivo approaches. Morris compared the advantages and disadvantages of using CRISPR technology and discussed recent research applications of CRISPR technology performed by academia and industry.

Pharmaceutical sciences professor Jun Qu's presentation was titled "Towards Highly Sensitive and Accurate Analysis of Novel Biotherapeutics in Tissues," part of the New Technology and New Applications of Existing Technology - Chemical symposia. The lecture focused on the technical difficulties associated with tissue analysis and the analytical techniques developed to improve sensitivity, selectivity, accuracy, throughput and robustness of LC-MS-based tissue quantification.

Pharmaceutical sciences PhD candidate Robert Dingman, BS/MS '16, was a moderator for "rapid fire" presentations during the Clinical Pharmacology - Biomolecular session. Robert is president of our Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association (GSA) and has previously served roles as vice president, secretary, and senator for GSA. Robert also was the student representative for the AAPS Biosimilar Focus Group.

An alumni and friends reception was also held the evening of Monday, Nov. 5.

The mission of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists is to advance the capacity of pharmaceutical scientists to develop products and therapies that improve global health.

For over 130 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 22 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.