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BIOE Seminar Series: Young Jik Kwon
Friday, September 22, 2017
9:00 a.m.
Pepco Room (1105), Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
For More Information:
Dr. Steven Jay

Dr. Young Jik Kwon
Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of California, Irvine

Mined from Nature and Engineered for Therapy: Semi-synthetic Virus, Stimuli-transforming Polymer, and Chemically-blebbed Extracellular Vesicles

Emerging therapies require a capability of effectively, specifically, and precisely manipulating the highly complex processes underlying in disease development and progress. Emerging therapies for highly challenging diseases require a multi-dimensional therapeutic capability in overcoming the limitations of narrowly-defined single-modal therapies. Naturally-occurring materials are often equipped with the highly-desired properties and further custom-tuning them develops novel therapies. In this lecture, biopolymer, and cellular vesicles are engineered for synergistic gene therapy, treatment of drug-resistant infections, and personalized and versatile therapy. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) was shelled with a siRNA-encapsulating, acid-degradable polymeric layer for enhanced eradication of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in vitro and in vivo.  Chitosan, known to be antimicrobial but poorly soluble in water, was ketalized for improved aqueous solubility and stimuli-responsive delivery of therapeutics. Chemically-induced extracellular vesicles (EVs) were prepared by a highly scalable production and loaded with a chemotherapeutics for efficient and biocompatible cancer therapy. This talk will introduce the current challenges in medicine and how interdisciplinary engineering would help find a better tool to cure diseases.

About the Speaker

Dr. Young Jik Kwon is a professor at UC Irvine in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry departments. Following his undergraduate education in Biological Engineering at Inha University, Dr. Kwon received his Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California with a focus on retroviral gene delivery in 2003 and did post-doctoral training in department of chemistry at UC Berkeley on polymeric vaccine carriers. He started his academic career in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and moved to UC Irvine in 2007. He currently oversees research at the BioTherapeutics Engineering Laboratory (BioTEL) at UC Irvine and his current projects mainly focus on gene therapy, drug delivery, cancer-targeted therapeutics, combined molecular imaging and therapy, and cancer vaccines. Dr. Kwon is a member of the NCI-designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the institute for Immunology, and the Center for Virus Research at UC Irvine. Dr. Kwon’s work was awarded the Medical Research Award from Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research in 2011, the Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation in 2010, and the Faculty Career Development Award from UC Irvine in 2008. He has received the best reviewer in the subject area of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Elsevier (2011), Most downloaded article award, Journal of Controlled Release, Elsevier (2012), FEBS Journal Top-Cited Paper Award, Wiley (2013), and Top downloaded article award, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing (2014). He is also an invited scholar to Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. 


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