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  • 16 Jun 2021 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    BIO Alabama Visits Auburn

    June 2-3

    Dr. Lane’s “Listening Campaign” around Alabama continued in June with a visit to Auburn. As a Texas native, she immediately felt at ease in the Alabama plains and was surprised to learn the Atlanta airport is only 1.5 hours away from the charmingly bustling town. Bill Dean – Executive Director of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation (aka “The Park”) – hosted Dr. Lane at The Park’s state-of-the-art facilities.

    Graduate students from the Department of Biology kicked off Dr. Lane’s visit with a casual conversation about how BIO AL can support their career development: their interests spanned from policy, to academia, to industry. Dr. Lane discussed the depth of career opportunities in Alabama following graduation. As a result of their conversation, BIO Alabama plans to organize virtual soft-skill professional development opportunities and industry introductions for grad students across the state.

    ARTF Executive Director Bill Dean (right), BIO AL Executive Director Rachel Lane (middle), and Senior Technology Transfer Officer Troy Brady (left) discuss Mr. Dean's plans to streamline tech transfer.

    Bill Dean and Cary Chandler - Senior Director of Business Development & Startups – shared their thoughtful design of The Park’s campus and resources to connect, support, and fuel innovators. Dr. Lane was impressed to learn that the campus includes the Big Blue Marble Academy. “Campus-accessible childcare helps working parents stay engaged in their careers, supporting a diverse workforce that includes more representative perspectives and experiences” she noted. Mr. Dean's unique skillset and expertise in creating innovation-conducive environments was evident in his insightful plan to bridge gaps in the innovation pathway and facilitate tech transfer.

    Next, Rick Hansen, Kimberly Braxton, and Gary Piazza from the Harrison School of Pharmacy shared their work. Dr. Lane was especially excited to learn more about Dr. Braxton’s study with the “TigerMeds® Personalized Prescriptions” program. The program uses individualized pharmacogenomic results to optimize patient prescriptions for tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), SSRI or SSNRI antidepressants, ADHD medications, antiplatelet medications, and antiestrogen medications.

    Dr. Symone Alexander from the College of Engineering explains her work

    The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering proved to be refreshingly focused on industry application, including novel MRI contrast agents, and showcased several of their energetic new faculty. College of Agriculture Chair David Held spotlighted the department’s recently introduced Applied Biotechnology degree, and Professor Brendan Higgins reiterated that many of their students “want to stay in the south.” VP for Research and Economic Development Jim Weyhenmeyer discussed cultural shifts in academic research that could promote a transition from predominately market-pull to market-push innovations. The College of Veterinary Medicine unveiled a vault of stories where they successfully applied developments in animal medicine to human biology. At the end of the day, Dr. Lane toured The Park’s accelerator space with Cary Chandler and then the Center for Advanced Science, Innovation, and Commerce across the street with Dr. Mark Liles.  

    Representative Jeremy Gray and Dr. Rachel Lane

    Dr. Lane did diversify her time in Auburn. She met with Representative Jeremey Gray to thank him for co-sponsoring HB 609, which was signed by Governor Ivey in May and provides state matching funds for companies awarded federal SBIR/STTR dollars. On her way out of town, Dr. Lane stopped by Vitruvias Therapeutics to visit with President Roger Graben.

    Despite the packed schedule, Dr. Lane left unfinished business in Auburn and hopes to return for a visit with SiO2 and Pharmavite - among other companies - soon.

  • 14 Jun 2021 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    BIO Alabama in Birmingham

    May 26-27

    BIO Alabama's new executive director - Rachel Lane, PhD, RD - is hitting the road this summer, with trips planned to all five hubs in the state. At the end of May, Dr. Lane began her travels with a two-day trip to Birmingham. Advancing Sight Network was the first stop, where Dr. Greg Grossman and Kyle Mavin showed off their thoughtfully designed facility. Dr. Lane marveled at the complex beauty of organ donation. 

    A transplant-ready cornea at Advancing Sight Network 

    "The most memorable moment for me was seeing a cornea in transition between the donor and recipient. It was amazing to think that just yesterday, that cornea had seen one life close but its work would continue beyond the first soul that brought it into the world. All that past and future fit into a 50-milliliter container."

      Leverett Powell and the Agile Biodetection crew then toured Dr. Lane around their spacious laboratory and offered several constructive suggestions on how to streamline the biotech startup process, based on their recent experience.

      Agile Biodetection crew from left to right | Leverett Powell, Kanti K. Sunkavalli, and Elizabeth Rayburn

      From there, Dr. Lane drove a few miles down the road to meet board member Jay Daly for a tour around Evonik's expansive campus, where she learned about their PLGA*-based therapeutic innovations. She then joined Chair Blair King (Alabama Power), Chair-Elect Kacee Sims (Avanti Polar Lipids), and past Chair-Elect Amy Sturdivant (58 INC) for dinner and discussion about building the AL bioeconomy.

      The next morning, CerFlux Founder Dr. Karim Budhwani met Dr. Lane for breakfast. They swapped ideas about various entrepreneurial support resources for life science startups, such as the I-Corps programs and Alabama Launchpad competition. 

        Dr. Karim Budhwani of CerFlux and Dr. Lane

        Dr. Lane then met 2022 Conference Chair Alex Cate (HudsonAlpha) and Birmingham-based members of the committee to tour the conference site: the Grand Bohemian Hotel. All members were impressed with the facility, and ideas for an exciting program began to percolate, including an executive dinner, patient-physician-innovator panels, and unique networking opportunities. From there, Dr. Lane headed to the Innovation Depot to meet with resident companies TriAltus, In8bio, ResBiotic, AI Metrics, and Amesino. They discussed how BIO AL could help facilitate tech transfer processes and support early-stage startups.

        Dr. Lane ended her day after meeting with Vulcan Gray, First Avenue Ventures, and Southern Research. "The best part of the trip was realizing I've barely scratched the surface. There are so many more life science companies and institutions to visit in Birmingham. I can't wait to come back," said Dr. Lane.

        *poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide)

      • 17 May 2021 12:14 PM | Anonymous

        HR3 attempts to address some of the challenges facing healthcare costs by limiting drug prices. BIO AL's Executive Director sent the following letter to Alabama's congressional representatives and senators. 

        I’m writing on behalf of BIO Alabama to express our concerns about HR3 and the impact it would have on innovation and on the future development of life-saving medical treatments. Reference pricing would have a negative impact on patients and on our bioscience industry in Alabama.

        The timing of this proposal is particularly ironic considering what the past year has shown us about the value of innovation and a robust bioscience industry. We have all seen first-hand the benefits of having an industry that was positioned and ready to respond to a novel and deadly coronavirus. But the importance of this industry is no less vital to those diagnosed with diseases that have been causing deaths and disability for many years.

        As our national partners at BIO have said of HR3:

        “This proposal, as a de-facto price control measure, would handicap future medical innovation – including for future pandemics – and destroy hope for millions of patients living with diseases for which no cures or viable treatments currently exist. As a recent study made clear, patients would have had access to significantly fewer new medicines to treat rare diseases and cancer, as two examples, had reference pricing proposals been enacted over the last decade. Moreover, the proposal would have triggered hundreds of thousands of job losses across the country."

        Like BIO at the national level, BIO Alabama is deeply concerned about this legislation. We remain committed to working with you on patient-centered reforms to improve access to medications and treatments without putting our industry — and more importantly, the next generation of cures — at risk.

        As a scientist, I understand the tremendous resources required to create and safely introduce new treatments, diagnostics, and medical instruments to healthcare. In my role as Founder of The Written Science, I spent years working with early-stage innovators, fueled by their zeal and hope for better medicine in the future. I experienced the challenges of healthcare access and pricing abuse in my clinical career. The challenges facing healthcare are complex and multifaceted, but HR3 is not a satisfactory solution and will create more holes in patient treatment than it fills. 

        If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

        - Rachel Lane PhD, RD

      • 12 May 2021 2:20 PM | Anonymous

        HR3 proposes to replace the current market-based system for determining the value of prescription medicines with a system based on international reference pricing. If enacted, these policies will import to the US price controls adopted by countries with health care systems that deny patients access to the newest cures and treatments.

        BIO conducted a study that found implementation of reference pricing in the US would

        - Reduce earnings of impacted companies by 62% on average (by 95% for 1/3)

        - Markedly reduce biopharmaceutical companies’ investments in smaller company R&D

        - Reduce by 90%+ the number of medicines developed by small and emerging biotechs (61 fewer medicines over 10 years)

        - Create large investment ecosystem losses to smaller companies in 19 states

        - Disproportionately impact new treatments in rare diseases, oncology, and neurology

        - Eliminate nearly 200,000 biopharmaceutical industry jobs, and nearly 1 million jobs across the economy


        BIO acknowledges current challenges with drug prices and recommends that policymakers a) address perverse incentives in the insurance system, b) increase competition, and c) lower out-of-pocket costs for patients.


        Content from BIO.org

      • 8 Mar 2021 2:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

        BIO Alabama has named entrepreneur Rachel Lane, Ph.D., R.D., as its new executive director. 

        Lane founded The Written Science LLC in Huntsville, where she serves as a liaison between business and cutting-edge research teams to translate science into medicine.

        As executive director for BIO Alabama, she will focus on:

        • Fostering independent and collaborative initiatives that cultivate a fertile, career-centric bioscience community in Alabama.
        • Promoting tech transfer activities by facilitating member access to innovation resources, including funding opportunities and entrepreneurial support services.
        • Creating constructive member engagement, through cross-member programmatic and technology match-making initiatives.
        • Positioning BIO Alabama as the leader in bioscience-related industries statewide. 
        “Rachel’s background and experience serving as a bridge between the science and business community make her the ideal person to take the reins at BIO Alabama,” said Blair King,  chair of BIO Alabama’s board of directors. “We are extremely excited about what Rachel brings to our organization.”

        Lane began her career in clinical dietetics, working hand in hand with clinicians to provide evidence-based nutrition to acute care patients. She earned a doctorate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2017.

        Her experience includes founding the Oklahoma Association for Women in Science Affiliate Group, for which she recruited speakers, raised funds and planned events, including the inaugural Women’s History Month Symposium, to promote the professional success of women in STEM.

        Lane founded The Written Science to help early-stage biotechs communicate the business value of their technology.

        As BIO Alabama’s executive director, Lane will serve as the spokesperson and lead connector of the Alabama bioscience ecosystem, advocating for the state’s bioscience researchers, industry scientists and business leaders.

        “Since moving to Alabama in 2017, I’ve been increasingly impressed by our state’s bioscience offerings and potential for continued growth,” Lane said. “BIO Alabama has done a tremendous job connecting our bioscience community and I’m privileged to build on that progress with BIO Alabama’s talented board.”

        The association is the leading advocate for Alabama’s bioeconomy, representing the state on a national and international stage, promoting the intellectual and innovative capital that makes Alabama a premier place to invest, start and grow in bioscience.

        During 2020, BIO Alabama conducted industry research and published an economic development roadmap that outlined recommendations designed to grow Alabama’s bioscience footprint.

        Originally posted on March 8, 2021 at Alabama Newscenter.

      • 15 Jan 2021 11:06 AM | Deleted user

        Organization celebrates its 2020 accomplishments and plans for future growth

        BIO Alabama, the statewide bioscience association, has made great strides under the leadership of Executive Director Sonia Robinson. In early January, Robinson announced her departure and the search for a new Executive Director will soon begin. Robinson joined the organization in August of 2019 as the first full-time person serving in this role.  

        “On behalf of our Board of Directors and our members, we thank Sonia for her service to our organization and to the broader bioscience community,” said Blair King, Board Chair. “Connecting the Alabama bioscience community is at the heart of what we do and we will continue building upon the initiatives set in motion under Sonia’s leadership. We wish Sonia the very best as she embarks on a new and exciting professional journey at Spur Staffing.”

        BIO Alabama recently elected it’s officers for 2021. These individuals will be instrumental in leading the organization and initiating the search for Robinson’s replacement. BIO Alabama’s officers include: Bill Dean, Auburn University; Lawrence Ganti, Sio2 Materials Science; Blair King, Alabama Power; Erik Schwiebert, Discovery BioMed; Jared Sharp, Warren Averett; Kacee Sims, Avanti Polar Lipids; and Del Smith, Acclinate.

        During 2020, BIO Alabama conducted industry research and published an economic development roadmap that outlined recommendations designed to grow Alabama’s bioscience footprint. 

        In addition to the roadmap, the organization also brought back it’s annual conference pivoting to an all virtual event. 

        BIO Alabama also launched an internship program to engage talent and connect them to the bioscience community. Two interns have accepted full-time offers with bioscience companies in Alabama and each semester the interest in the program increases.

        “BIO Alabama’s Executive Director serves as the spokesperson and lead connector of the Alabama bioscience ecosystem advocating for our bioscience researchers, scientists, and business leaders,” King adds. “Sonia has been an incredible growth advocate for our organization. She also navigated the organization through much of the pandemic and enjoyed sharing the message of BIO Alabama broadly to further our mission.”

        BIO Alabama will begin the search for a new Executive Director soon. Interested candidates should watch for updates to the BIO Alabama website at bioalabama.com.

      • 11 Jan 2021 9:58 AM | Deleted user

        Semester long internship to focus on nonprofit business operations and marketing  

        BIO Alabama welcomes four students into it’s spring internship program, a program for college students who are intrinsically curious about Alabama’s bioscience industry and are motivated to promote the intellectual and innovative capital that make our state a premier place to invest, start, and grow in bioscience. 


        Brooke Bailey is a B.S. Physics Candidate at the University of Alabama

        “I have always had a deep passion for the bioscience world, and BIO Alabama's advocacy for networking the bioscience industry within the state of Alabama sounded nothing short of invigorating to me. Interning with BIO Alabama aligns beautifully with my career goals, while also giving me exposure to all kinds of people that can expand my horizons on the bioscience community and its future.”





        Keith Battle is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine

        “As a non-traditional student earning my PhD in Basic Medical Sciences at the University of South Alabama, I have always been interested in entrepreneurship as a career path after graduation. During a course in Technology Commercialization last semester I learned the importance of ‘getting out of the building,’ meaning that to be an effective researcher and create meaningful technology, one must talk to and learn the needs of those who will interact with or consume your research on a consistent basis. I see the volunteer internship opportunity at BIO Alabama as a way to continue that goal, meet leaders in Alabama’s biotech landscape, and work on an impactful project that furthers the mission of BIO Alabama to advocate for our state’s robust bioeconomy.”



        Caroline Daley is a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Information Sciences; Public Relations Major student at the University of Alabama

        “I was drawn to intern with BIO Alabama because I think that it will provide an excellent opportunity for me to learn and grow as a public relations professional, while also helping to promote biotechnology innovation in Alabama.”



        Sara Nolen is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Marketing Major student at Auburn University.

        "BIO Alabama is a perfect opportunity for me to expand my knowledge in the bioscience industry and to utilize my marketing skills. I feel like this internship will help me to create connections and provide experiences, while raising awareness for the industry, that will help me post-graduation."

        Bailey, Battle, Daley, and Nolen will spend their spring semester supporting BIO Alabama’s strategic plan and implementing key initiatives focused on three areas 1) business attraction and retention; 2) workforce development; and 3) startup and tech transfer.

        “We began our internship program the summer of 2020 with four students and we’re delighted to continue our internship program into the new year with four additional students from universities around the state,” said Sonia Robinson, Executive Director. “Workforce development is a key focus area for BIO Alabama and internships are an incredible way to engage our next generation of professionals. We aim to provide students with real projects that they can own, shape, and manage from start to completion. This not only gives them tangible deliverables for their specific internship criteria, but they become immersed in the Alabama bioscience community. Our hope is that our student interns find our community  inviting and promising as they navigate options for their first career right out of college,” Robinson adds. “Our University partners graduate top talent and we want them to stay, work, and play in Alabama.”

        BIO Alabama provides remote internship opportunities throughout the year. Interested students may email their cover letter and resume to administrator@bioalabama.com.  In addition to BIO Alabama, a number of bioscience companies across the state welcome interns. Interested students may contact BIO Alabama for more information. Bioscience companies who have available internships are encouraged to send internship opportunities to BIO Alabama for assistance in promoting those opportunities to partner colleges and universities.  

        Interns support the executive director and Board of Directors in further connecting our bioscience ecosystem. Internships with BIO Alabama are for college credit and follow the college or university's internship guidelines including minimum hour requirements and deliverables. 

        ###


      • 28 Dec 2020 9:35 AM | Deleted user

        GeneCapture technology directed at rapid treatment of wound infections
         

        December 16, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – GeneCapture and subcontractor Canvas Inc. were recently awarded a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) for feasibility testing of GeneCapture’s rapid portable Infection Diagnostic (ID) and Antibiotic Susceptibility Test (AST). DHA is seeking ways to quickly diagnose and accurately treat wound infections in civilians and in injured Warfighters. GeneCapture’s ID and AST platform will enable medical providers of all skill levels to treat infections with the appropriate antibiotics at the Point of Care.

        The rapid treatment of an infection with the right drug is critical to the fight against global antimicrobial resistance (AMR.)  The pathogens of interest to the DHA are the ESKAPE pathogens – Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcusaureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp., and Escherichia coli. Multidrug resistant ESKAPE pathogens contribute to AMR world-wide and pose a critical threat to the Warfighter.      

        “Wound infections can be fatal. DHA is seeking to address this problem with novel solutions that combine identifying the pathogen and determining which antibiotic works best, both right at the Point of Care.  Antimicrobial resistance is a serious, global problem, and GeneCapture is pleased to have been selected to demonstrate our lab-free approach for this Phase I study,” states GeneCapture Chief Scientist Paula Millirons.

        Subcontractor Canvas Inc. brings software development, AI/machine learning, image processing and microbiology expertise to support GeneCapture in developing pathogen fingerprints from the CAPTURE assay data. Canvas and GeneCapture have collaborated on previous biotech projects to bring infection detection solutions to the Point of Care.

        GeneCapture has developed the CAPTURE assay (Confirm Active Pathogens Through Unamplified RNA Expression), which uses a novel non-PCR protocol to quickly identify a pathogen’s RNA from a custom library of probes on a microarray. Now GeneCapture’s platform will also include a breakthrough AST assay providing rapid on-site testing of various antibiotics once the single or mixed pathogens have been identified. Both assays are designed to operate in remote environments without refrigeration or a lab infrastructure.

        Photo caption: GeneCapture and Canvas microbiologists prepare experiments to demonstrate rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility for pathogens of interest to Defense Health Agency.

        ###

        About GeneCapture: 
        Gene Capture is developing a rapid infection detection device for use in point of care medicine.  Using a “Genetic Signature Match” Gene Capture has been able to detect multiple infectious pathogens in human samples in about an hour.  The GeneCapture technique detects the RNA of the pathogen, which indicates that the organism is alive; a major benefit of the platform. Recently, the GeneCapture team developed a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test for use in point of care and remote applications.  GeneCapture’s labs are on the campus of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The early technology was developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.  For more information see www.genecapture.com.

        About Canvas:
        Canvas, Inc., a Huntsville-based Woman-Owned Small Business, provides Engineering and Technical Services to a diverse group of customers in the areas Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Test and Evaluation, Technology and Product Development, and Warfighter Operations Management. Canvas was named Government Contracting Technology Business of the Year (2018) and Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year (2018) by the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce. For more information see www.canvas-inc.com.

        About HudsonAlpha:
        About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit hudsonalpha.org.


      • 2 Dec 2020 8:59 AM | Deleted user

        December 2, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – The HudsonAlpha Foundation and Mrs. Linda Smith announce the creation of the Smith Family Chair in Genomics at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The Smith Family Chair in Genomics will be held by Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha.

        “I am so glad to continue to support HudsonAlpha,” said Smith. “I am delighted that this chair will support Dr. Barsh’s work and new discoveries in science.”

        Linda and her husband, the late Mark C. Smith, moved to Huntsville, Ala. after meeting at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Smith started two successful companies in the Huntsville community, as the founder of Universal Data Systems and co-founder of ADTRAN. A throat cancer diagnosis led to Mr. Smith’s keen interest in learning more about cancer and biotechnology. He became one of the first board members when HudsonAlpha was formed. The Smith family has supported the Institute since the beginning and continued their generosity over the years to keep HudsonAlpha at the forefront of science and discovery.

        “Mark would be thrilled today to see what has happened with HudsonAlpha,” said Smith. “It is one of a kind and the sky’s the limit for HudsonAlpha’s future.”

        Barsh studies the genetics of morphological variation – how DNA makes people and animals look different from one another, both within and between species. His research also helps to understand how migration, isolation, and population history affect the ability of wild animals to respond to and cope with changes in climate, habitat and environment.

        “It is an honor and privilege to carry the Smith family name, who have been known for their community leadership and philanthropy in Huntsville and beyond,” said Barsh. “Linda was pivotal in bringing me to HudsonAlpha more than a decade ago. We are forever grateful for the family’s investment in HudsonAlpha throughout the years.”

        “Mark and Linda really mean a lot to me and the legacy of HudsonAlpha,” said Jim Hudson, HudsonAlpha co-founder. “I am truly thankful for their friendship over the years as well as their support to make the vision for HudsonAlpha a reality.”

        The HudsonAlpha Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Institute, has created the opportunity to name chairs, such as the Smith Family Chair in Genomics, as a way for donors to make an investment in the Institute to ensure its sustainability. In addition, chair positions help increase faculty retention and recruit new talent. For more information, click here.

        ###

        About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit hudsonalpha.org.


      • 30 Nov 2020 1:24 PM | Deleted user

        TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Three professors specializing in biomedical sciences, biochemistry and bioengineering will join The University of Alabama during the upcoming spring semester, boosting research and innovation in novel design and engineering of advanced drug delivery systems.

        Dr. Ravi Kumar will be a professor in the College of Community Health Sciences with an adjunct appointment in the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Internationally recognized for his significant contributions to nanomedicine research with applications for the treatment of human health and diseases, Kumar will also lead the convergent bioscience and medicine initiative under the Alabama Life Research Institute.

        Along with Kumar, Drs. Meenakshi Arora and Raghu Ganugula will join CCHS as associate professor and assistant professor, respectively. Arora researches the development of biomaterials for therapeutic applications, specifically for autoimmune and inflammatory disease conditions. Ganugula has expertise in biotechnology and pharmacological testing of novel bioactives and drug delivery systems.

        The Office for Research and Economic Development, the Office for Academic Affairs and CCHS partnered in support of the research group’s move to UA.

        “These three outstanding researchers bring a wealth of experience that will advance the University’s research enterprise through collaboration with our existing faculty while enriching the experience of our students,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development. “They are among the world leaders working in the critical nexus of bioscience and medicine, and they will continue tackling some of the greatest challenges in improving human health.”

        The team will join UA from the Texas A&M University College of Pharmacy, where Kumar leads the premier laboratory in the world in nanotechnology-based oral drug delivery systems. The team currently has about $5.8 million in sponsored research projects, including three Research Project Grants, also known as R01s, from the National Institutes of Health.

        “The College of Community Health Sciences is committed to improving care and treatment for those suffering medically, and this team’s ingenuity in targeting drug delivery furthers and expands our mission and opportunity for collaboration that brings benefits to our faculty and clinical professionals,” said Dr. Richard Friend, CCHS dean.

        Their lab and convergent bioscience and medicine initiative will be established in the AIME Building as part of ALRI, which brings together researchers from across campus to study problems that directly affect the health and well-being of individuals and communities in Alabama, as well as across the nation and world.

        “Advancing solutions in biosciences requires interdisciplinary teams, and the addition of this distinguished group brings another dimension to UA’s ability to better the human condition through new intellectual and technical resources,” said Dr. Sharlene Newman, ALRI executive director.

        Kumar works with basic and clinical scientists in establishing novel drug delivery mechanisms and their application to inflammatory, infectious and vascular disease conditions, and his published research is widely followed by other researchers in the field.

        He was first to propose and demonstrate a non-competitive active targeting nanosystem and its application to diseases. His lab employed this platform in the treatment of difficult to treat diseases such as lupus, diabetes complications and intraocular inflammation in rodent and canine models respectively. His work has advanced fundamental understanding of blood-intestine and other biological barriers and has led to the development of two patents. These technologies have facilitated industry collaborations, as well as the formation of a spinoff company

        In February, Kumar will be inducted into the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for his contributions to drug delivery. He is also a Foreign Fellow with the European Academy of Sciences, and Fellow with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and has received a number of other national and international awards.

        His tenure at Texas A&M began in 2013 after about five years as a professor at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom. He was also an assistant professor at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in India, and a research fellow at Saarland University in Germany.

        Kumar earned a doctorate in drug delivery from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in 2000, a masters of applied chemistry from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya and a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from Nagarjuna University.

        Arora is an assistant professor of research at Texas A&M, where she has also been a research scientist. Arora has been an integral member of the research team with Kumar at previous posts, including post-doctoral work in other labs. She earned a doctorate in chemistry in 2001 and a masters of organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee as well as a bachelors of chemistry, zoology and botany from Chaudhary Charan Singh University.

        At Texas A&M, Ganugula is an assistant professor of research and was previously an assistant research scientist and postdoctoral researcher. He graduated in 2011 with a doctorate in biotechnology from Central Institute of Fisheries Technology in India, a masters in biotechnology from Andhra University and a bachelors of chemistry, botany and zoology from A.M.A.L. College.

        https://news.ua.edu/2020/11/biomedical-sciences-team-joins-the-university-of-alabama/

        The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.

        Additional news about The University of Alabama can be found at: https://news.ua.edu/news-media/


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