Thank you to all who contributed their time and effort in making our inaugural speakers series so successful.
2012 SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
UCLA, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
The Next Generation of Materials for Solar Cells
Excitement surrounds reports of more efficient, less expensive, earth-friendly developments in photovoltaic (solar) materials and devices. The promise of extracting electricity from sunlight represents an important issue for society. However, it is clear that many of these announcements are not soon followed by the incorporation of these developments into actual products. What are the technologies that are expected to contribute in either near term and far term? What are the roadblocks? What lessons can be learned from the progress in other technology areas which utilize similar materials and devices? These issues will be addressed in light of our understanding of different materials, their synthesis and manufacture, and the associated costs. Recent developments at UCLA – at the research level – in several different materials for solar cell applications will also be highlighted.
Dr. Mark Goorsky is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. He was chair of the department from 2004-2009. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1989 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1984 from Northwestern University. Dr. Goorsky held a post-doctoral position at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center (Jan. 1989 - June 1991) and started at UCLA in 1991.
Dr. Goorsky is an associate editor of the Journal of Crystal Growth. He is also a member of the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, which assesses the state of research and development in technologies that are crucial to the Air Force and provides forecasts of long-range science and technology. He was awarded the T.S. Walton Award from the Science Foundation of Ireland in 2010, received the TRW Outstanding Young Teacher Award in the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1993, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1995, and the Northrop Grumman Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 1996.
His research focuses on materials integration and the relationship between materials defects and device performance in semiconductor structures. He has published over 240 papers and given 180 presentations on his research work and has received three U.S. patents.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Advanced Development Programs, ‘The Skunk Works’
Dr. Boyd will share an overview of some of the recent advances in technology underway at the Skunk Works (at least the unclassified ones). Specific to student interest, some discussion of the role of defense contractors and careers in the field will be discussed. Specific focus will be placed on his development of hybrid aircraft for transportation and surveillance applications. The hybrid aircraft represents a significant shift in airborne transportation that is more affordable, flexible, and efficient than existing modes. An overview of the technology and some of the interesting technical aspects will be discussed. For those who have seen it on YouTube (or more rarely live in Palmdale), the hybrid aircraft dubbed “P-791” represents the technology demonstrator for this class of products. Discussion of this project along with questions and answers from the audience will round out the hour.
Dr. Robert (Bob) Boyd is the Hybrid Lift Portfolio Senior Program Manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Advanced Development Programs, or “Skunk Works” in Palmdale California. In this position, he manages multiple programs including both internal development efforts (IRAD) and externally funded efforts related to heavy lift and ISR hybrid aircraft systems. He has been responsible for all Hybrid Aircraft development at Lockheed Martin over the past eight years, including several variant of lift vehicles. He managed the LM Walrus team for the 2006 DARPA effort. Dr. Boyd received the LM NOVA award for his leadership as Program Manager of the P-791 Hybrid Aircraft Demonstration program, the results of which you have likely seen, but not heard much about. Such is the way of the Skunk Works…
During his tenure at Lockheed Martin, he has worked a wide variety of programs including low and high altitude airships, high speed concepts including missiles, aircraft and space launch systems, in-space architectures such as tethers, advanced unmanned aircraft and heavy transports. His leadership responsibilities represent more than $150M in contracted development work.
Dr. Boyd holds a Ph.D. and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State University, has authored papers, has five patents granted and others pending, and is a graduate of the DAU Advanced Program Managers’ Course. Outside of Lockheed Martin, he has served as Assistant Dean for Academics at the Ohio State University College of Engineering, Technical Fellow at NASA Glenn Research Laboratory, and co-founded two independent businesses.
Dr. Boyd has been happily married for more than 20 years and has three teenage sons. He volunteers his time in youth sports, coaching and officiating multiple sports. For his most impassioned sport, soccer, he has been a volunteer referee for more than 30 years. He also enjoys disc golf and is an avid home remodeler.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
A View at an Early Stage Oncology Program: AKT
This presentation will take you through a discovery phase medicinal chemistry project, from conception to SAR development, to lead identification and Xenograft studies. Project rationale, target biology, synthetic chemistry and molecular modeling will all be touched on, and an overview of the drug discovery process will be discussed.
Dr. Erich Wohlhieter is a Senior Manager of Research Operations in Amgen’s Department of Therapeutic Discovery. Prior to this role, he was a Scientist in Amgen’s Medicinal Chemistry department, where he worked on various early-stage kinase and GPCR programs.
Dr. Wohlhieter’s education started at Palomar Community College in San Marcos CA, and he transferred under the IGETC program to UC Berkeley, where he completed his bachelor’s degree. He then went on to UCLA and earned a doctorate degree in Organic Chemistry.
Erich is an author and inventor on numerous publications and patents, married to College of the Canyons Chemistry Department Chair Dr. Rebecca Eikey, the father of three children, and an amateur runner and triathlete.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Antibody Drug Conjugates: The Targeted Delivery of
Chemotherapeutics To Tumors
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is responsible for approximately 7 million (1 in 8) deaths worldwide. In 2008, approximately 12 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer, thus making this disease a major area of focus for research and drug development.
There are several types of cancers and cancer subtypes. This diversity presents several challenges to developing effective treatments for cancer patients. Cancer patients are commonly treated with toxic drugs, known as chemotherapy, which kill the proliferating cancer cells. Unfortunately, the chemotherapeutics will kill both normal and cancer cells, resulting in several unwanted side effects including nausea, hair loss, weight loss and fatigue. Furthermore the cancers often develop resistance to the chemotherapeutics which makes the search of new and effective therapies essential.
The goal of the next generation of cancer therapies is to develop effective therapies that target the tumors and not the non-tumor tissues. This would allow not only allow the cancer patient to live longer, but it would also improve their quality of life.
Agensys is developing novel therapies that deliver chemotherapeutic drugs directly to the tumors, which minimizes the unwanted side effects associated with traditional chemotherapy. The chemotherapeutic drugs are covalently attached to the antibody via specific amino acid residues, thus forming the antibody drug conjugate (ADC). The ADC binds to proteins that are selectively expressed on the surface of the cancer cells, where they are internalized by the cancer cells. The chemotherapeutic drug is released inside the cancer cells resulting in the death of the cancer cell.
The development, the use and the challenges associated with ADCs to treat various types of cancers will be discussed.
Dr. Dowdy Jackson is a California native. He majored in Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Molecular Biology at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). After graduating with honors from CSUDH, he completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biophysics from the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology at Northwestern University. Dr. Jackson’s thesis focused on understanding how the placenta developed its vascular supply. This process, known as angiogenesis, is vital to the growth and survival of embryos, various organs and to the growth and development of cancer. Dr. Jackson’s studies identified a new protein that inhibited the growth of blood vessels. His work was published in several peer reviewed journals including the journal Science.
Dr. Jackson was an Amgen and a UNCF/Merck postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Douglas Hanahan’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he continued his study of the proteins involved in tumor angiogenesis. Dr. Jackson also worked with Dr. Judah Folkman (Harvard University Medical School), known as the father of angiogenesis.
After completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Jackson worked for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. During his tenure at Pharmacia/Pfizer, he worked on teams that developed drugs to inhibit tumor angiogenesis and inflammation, including Celebrex. Dr. Jackson worked at The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he led teams that developed protein kinase inhibitors and methods to deliver RNAi systemically to treat cancer. At MedImmune, Dr. Jackson’s team developed MedImmune’s first antibody drug conjugate used to treat cancer patients.
Dr. Jackson is currently working at Agensys, a Santa Monica based biotechnology company, where he is leading the antibody drug conjugate biology group.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Development of Monoclonal Antibodies as Therapeutic Agents
In the early 1970’s, two U.K. researchers, César Milstein and Georges Köhler, were about to make a discovery that was destined to change the world. In their paper entitled “Continuous Cultures of Fused Cells Secreting Antibody of Predefined Specificity” (Nature, 1975), Milstein and Kohler revealed a process which ultimately gave birth to a new science: the development and use of monoclonal antibodies in research, diagnostics and therapeutic development. The process they described had much promise, but unfortunately as is often the case, the technology to support the multiple suggested uses for monoclonal antibodies would not be available for two decades, making the 2000’s rather than the 1980’s the age of the “Magic Bullet”.
Therapeutic uses for antibodies was not a new concept, and some historical applications will be explored during the presentation, but the ability to produce antibodies with defined specificity advanced the field to a position which made possible the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) as effective therapeutic reagents. Over the last 3 decades, refinements in the process have had a profound impact on medicine, thus providing an almost limitless source of therapeutic and diagnostic reagents. The therapeutic use of MAb’s has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The two leading antibody drugs, Rituxan and Herceptin, each have sales in excess of five billion dollars, making them “Blockbuster” pharmaceuticals which compete easily with more conventional small molecule pharmaceuticals.
Monoclonal antibodies have become established in the treatment of various diseases including inflammatory, transplantation related, oncological, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. Technological advances in antibody engineering have overcome the limitations of early murine MAbs, so that the antibodies used for today’s drugs resemble those made naturally by the human body, and as a consequence, are better tolerated with fewer unwanted side effects. Furthermore, antibody engineering technologies are constantly advancing to enable fine tuning of the effector function and serum half life.
Finally, remarkable progress has also been made in the commercial manufacture of MAbs. This has made possible the economically viable development of antibodies, so that they can be produced in such a way as to offset the extensive cost needed for their development.
Bilbohall Hospital, in Lennoxtown, Scotland, was a famed lunatic asylum just outside of Glasgow which was used as a maternity hospital between 1941 and 1964, where Dr. Kendall Morrison was born. Lured by the whisky industry, his family moved to Speyside when he was 4, where he spent most of his formative years until the age of 17, when he moved to Aberdeen to study Civil Engineering. After traveling through Europe, including an extended sojourn in Greece, working in a television antennae cable manufacturing factory, and later through Egypt, he ended up back in Scotland and studied Immunology and Microbiology at the University of West Scotland, graduating with a B.Sc. (Honors) in 1986.
After graduating, Dr. Morrison took his first proper job at Leeds University, studying Mycobacterium in industrial effluent as well as running multiple chemostats for the undergraduate microbiology class. This introduction to bio-processing was a sign of things to come, but it was not until 1988 that he had his first experience with monoclonal antibodies. Little did Dr. Morrison know that for the next quarter of a century, he would devote a great deal of his career to developing monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic agents. With only a short time away from the monoclonal antibody field during his Ph.D. studies at Southampton University Medical School (investigating the use of in situ hybridization in Pathology), Dr. Morrison ended up taking a job in Celltech U.K., which at that time was the biggest biotechnology company in Europe and is now part of UCB Pharma. Here, he worked in the monoclonal (Hybridoma) antibody group, developing antibodies for multiple inflammatory targets. Dr. Morrison was responsible discovering the antibody entity that was engineered to become CDP791 (Celltech development Product 791). This is a novel investigational antibody targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). This antibody was produced by the technique of DNA immunization, which Dr. Morrison pioneered while at Celltech. CDP791 recently completed Phase II trials in non-small cell lung cancer. While at Celltech, Dr. Morrison also worked on the team that was responsible for discovering the antibody entity CDP870, known as Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), which has been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's Disease. In March 2001, Dr. Morrison began the Hybridoma Group at Agensys. During this time as leader of this group, all of the antibody entities which are currently in various stages of clinical development, including AGS-PSCA, were discovered. This is considered the most advanced product which is just about to enter Phase III trials in pancreatic cancer. Dr. Morrison's team is also developing antibody based products for the treatment of prostate cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma and B-cell lymphoma.
Dr. Morrison is currently the Director of the Protein Technologies department, which is comprised of 3 groups: Antibody Generation, Chemistry and Antibody Conjugation and Protein Sciences.
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A special thank you is extended to the following faculty/staff members for assisting with the Spring 2013 Series: Jeannie Chari (Biological Sciences), Teresa Ciardi (Physical Sciences/Astronomy), Vincent Devlahovich (Geology), Ann Kressin (Chemistry), and Elizabeth Hernandez (Biological Sciences/Physics).