UB Center for Protein Therapeutics awards over $1 million for 11 research projects

By Kara Sweet

Published August 16, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo Center for Protein Therapeutics has awarded over $1 million for research projects to advance the development of next-generation protein drugs for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Joseph Balthasar.

Joseph Balthasar, PhD
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director of University Research Initiatives

Led by Joseph Balthasar, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director of University Research Initiatives, the Center for Protein Therapeutics is a facility within UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Center, which is funded through a consortium that includes eight leading pharmaceutical companies, conducts research and provides structured training programs to advance the application of pharmaceutical science in the development of protein drugs.

Since its inception in 2008, the Center has funded 128 seed projects totaling over $12 million.

Funded projects for 2019-2020 are:

  • “Evaluation of Brain Pharmacokinetics of Protein Therapeutics after Local Administration”
    Dhaval Shah, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Evaluation of CAR-Bomb strategies for targeted delivery of anti-cancer siRNA”
    Joseph Balthasar, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director of University Research Initiatives
  • “Study viable approaches for oral delivery of colon‐targeting macromolecules (e.g. targeting TNF for IBD), and understand the gut absorption mechanism following oral delivery”
    Sathy Balu-Iyer, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Evaluation of the effects of cell penetrating peptides and endosomal escape peptides on the pharmacokinetics of anti-cancer monoclonal antibodies”
    Joseph Balthasar, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director of University Research Initiatives
  • “Evaluation of the therapeutic selectivity of anti-CEA SN38 antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) and antibody drug fragment complexes (FDC)”
    Joseph Balthasar, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Executive Director of University Research Initiatives
  • “3D-printed micro scaffold for high-resolution tissue compartmentalization / micro-sampling and application in measuring the tissue distribution of protein biotherapeutics and biomarkers”
    Jun Qu, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Effect of Charge Variation on the Disposition of Monoclonal Antibodies”
    Dhaval Shah, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Hepatic FcRn and the Impact of its Loss on FcRn-Mediated Recycling”
    Marilyn Morris, PhD, Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Evaluation of pH Dependent Antigen Binding and Geldanamycin Co-administration as Novel Strategies for Enhanced Intracellular Delivery of Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs)”
    Dhaval Shah, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “Liposomal IL-12 protects melanoma patient-derived tumor-specific T cells from an up regulation of PD-1, exhaustion and loss of function following their adoptive transfer and entry into the tumor microenvironment of melanoma tumor xenografts”
    Don Mager, PhD, Vice-Chair and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • “BCSFB transport and disposition of IgG1”
    Marilyn Morris, PhD, Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Earlier this month, faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students from the school presented results of their 2018-2019 CPT-funded research projects at the annual Center for Protein Therapeutics Symposium. More than 70 scientists attended, including worldwide representatives from the CPT’s industrial partners. 

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.