Personalized therapeutics

Date(s) - 03/06/2014
4:00 pm

Dr. Debra Auguste, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York


Metastatic breast cancers (MBCs) have high mortality owing to aggressive proliferation and metastasis and a lack of diversified treatment options. Epidemiological studies support differences in MBC behavior by age, ethnicity, and BRCA1 gene status. Our quantitative investigation of cell membrane surface chemistry in cell lines and human tissues has led to the design of a series of personalized therapeutics. Additionally, we focus on intervention in multiple pathways to simultaneously reduce metastasis and proliferation. Our synergistic approach – coupling cell chemistry and cell behavior – may transform how we think and design therapeutics. In addition to our efforts in drug delivery, we will show how responsive materials may be designed to regenerate tissue. Our in vitro, in vivo, and in silico results demonstrate that bioresponsive materials can induce a pro-healing response.

Brief bio:

Debra Auguste, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the City College of New York, prior to which she was an Assistant Professor at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard Medical School. She was trained as a Post-Doctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Institute Professor Robert Langer.  Her interests include drug and gene delivery, targeted drug delivery, stimuli sensitive materials, and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Dr. Auguste is the principal investigator on grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). She is a recipient of various awards including; the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering-2012, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award-2012, the NSF CAREER Award-2011, the DARPA Young Faculty Award-2009, the Percy Julien Award for Outstanding Scientist of the Year-2008, the ONR Young Investigator Award-2007, and the JDRF Innovation Award-2007. In addition, Dr. Auguste was named to the ‘50 Most Influential African Americans in Technology’ list in 2009 and 2010. She received her S.B. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 2005.

Auguste Lab for Bioresponsive Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering