Pioneering biomedical and chemical engineer Nicholas A. Peppas will speak at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility at UC Davis. The Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Peppas will speak on “Intelligent Nanoscale Biopolymers for Recognitive and Responsive Delivery of Drugs, Peptides and Proteins.” The presentation is presented by the UC Davis College of Engineering. Admission is free. A reception will follow the lecture.
Engineering the molecular design of intelligent biopolymers and especially hydrogels by controlling recognition and specificity is the first step in coordinating and duplicating complex biological and physiological processes. Peppas’ lecture will address design and synthesis characteristics of nover crosslinked networks capable of protein release as well as artificial molecular structures capable of specific molecular recognition of biological molecules. Recent developments in protein delivery have been directed towards the preparation of targeted formulations for protein delivery to specific sites, use of environmentally-responsive polymers to achieve pH- or temperature-triggered delivery, usually in modulated mode, and improvement of the behavior of their mucoadhesive behavior and cell recognition. Molecular imprinting and microimprinting techniques, which create stereo-specific three-dimensional binding cavities based on a biological compound of interest can lead to preparation of biomimetic materials for intelligent drug delivery, drug targeting, and tissue engineering. Peppas has been successful in synthesizing novel glucose-binding molecules based on non-covalent directed interactions formed via molecular imprinting techniques within aqueous media.
Peppas is a leading researcher, inventor and pacesetter in the field of drug delivery and controlled release, a field that he developed into a mature area of scholarly research. He is also a leader in biomaterials, bionanotechnology, nano materials and bionanotechnology, and has contributed seminal work in the fields of feedback controlled biomedical devices and molecular recognition. The multidisciplinary approach of his research in bionanotechnology and biomolecular engineering blends modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering to generate the next-generation of medical systems and devices, including bioMEMS with enhanced applicability, reliability, functionality, and longevity. His contributions have been translated into more than twenty medical products.
In addition to serving as the Cockrell Family Regents Chair #6 in Engineering at Texas, Peppas serves as the Director of the Institute of Biomaterials, Drug Delivery, and Regenerative Medicine, and its Laboratory of Biomaterials, Drug Delivery and Bionanotechnology with appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin. Before 2002, he was the Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University.
Peppas was educated in chemical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (D. Eng., 1971) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sc.D., 1973) under the direction of bioengineering pioneer Edward W. Merrill. Subsequently, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Arteriosclerosis Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under world biomedical leaders Clark K. Colton, Kenneth A. Smith and Robert S. Lees.
Peppas is a member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), as well as the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the Académie Nationale of France, the Academy of Athens, the Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia of Spain and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences of Texas (TAMEST). In 2012 he received the Founders Award of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest recognition of the Academy, for these contributions to the field. He is a highly cited scientist (83,000 citations, H=140) and has supervised the research of 105 PhDs and about 180 postdocs and other graduate students.