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Translational applications in exosome research: From biomarker discovery to drug delivery

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Translational applications in exosome research: From biomarker discovery to drug delivery

Recorded 19 April 2017


Exosomes—small, membrane-derived extracellular vesicles capable of carrying diverse biological cargo including proteins and microRNAs—have been found in a broad range of biological fluids and appear to be predominantly involved in cell-to-cell communication. Their natural characteristics make them uniquely suited for research and clinical applications, including as biomarkers both for diseases and for intrinsic biological activity. In fact, exosomes have been postulated to mediate the biological crosstalk that takes place between tumors and their surrounding environment that drives those tumors toward a metastatic state. In addition, exosomes are being co-opted as a treatment modality and have been modified through their parental cells to express a targeting moiety or marker tag on their surface. They can also be manipulated to carry drug formulations that can be applied to the treatment of a wide variety of disorders, such as cancer and various infectious, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases.

During this webinar, viewers will learn about:

  • Insights gained into the underlying biology of metastatic basal cell carcinoma obtained via exosome RNA sequencing
  • Techniques for tagging and isolation of exosomes, and in vitro/in vivo tracking of these particles
  • Development and validation of exosome-based drug delivery systems.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes

Image (fluorescently labeled exosomes on a magnetic bead) courtesy of Alix Ashare, David Armstrong, and Ken Orndorff - Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Speaker bios

Anne Lynn S. Chang, M.D.

Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Dermatology
Redwood City, CA

Dr. Chang graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1999 before completing a fellowship and residency at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics in 2007. She is an associate professor of dermatology and director of the Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma Clinic, as well as director of dermatological clinical trials. Currently, her main area of practice is skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Her research is both translational and clinical in nature and centers on the human genetics of healthy skin aging and diseases related to aging skin, including new treatments for advanced basal cell skin cancers. Dr. Chang’s practice in dermatology is at both Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City, California, and the Stanford Cancer Center at the Stanford main campus. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Society for Investigative Dermatology.

Richard Jones, Ph.D.

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

Dr. Jones obtained his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Birmingham Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (United Kingdom) under Professor Lawrence Young, studying the use of gene therapy for targeting Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) proteins with replication-competent adenoviruses to treat EBV-driven malignancies. In 2004 he began postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, investigating the role of EBV lytic infection and the role of HDM-2 inhibitors in myeloma and lymphoma treatment. Dr. Jones is now at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where he is assistant professor in the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma, working on novel therapies to overcome drug resistance in lymphoma and myeloma through targeting environmental factors in the stromal microenvironment.

Elena V. Batrakova, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Batrakova earned her M.S. in chemistry from M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia in 1983. In 1987 she obtained her Ph.D. in polymer chemistry with distinction from MSU. In 2003, she joined the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha as associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. She became a member of the Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (CDDN) and director of the CNS Drug Delivery Program at CDDN in 2004. In 2012, she moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as an associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Dr. Batrakova’s group investigates the development of personalized drug delivery systems, including using living cells or exosomes released from these cells that are loaded with therapeutics. These investigations take advantage of white blood cells, monocytes, and macrophages that can target an inflammation site, including inside the brain. Other work in her lab uses naïve exosomes released from monocytes and macrophages that can be loaded with therapeutic proteins and low-molecular-weight drugs ex vitro for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders as well as brain tumors. The focus of this project is on different methods for drug loading as well as the characterization of exosomal formulations. Dr. Batrakova’s publication portfolio includes over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and 20 patents.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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