Jeffrey MacKeigan is not your traditional academic scientist. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship, he spent two years at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. That gives him a unique perspective on how academic labs, like the one he runs at Michigan State University, can take part in the drug discovery and development process.
“We knew we had to be smarter, and that we had to have more shots on goal to be successful,” he says. That’s why MacKeigan and his team are working closely with Atomwise in their quest to understand cancer cell biology and cell signaling.
The National Institutes of Health today announced Michigan State University researcher Jens Schmidt as a recipient of its prestigious New Innovator Award to study how human cells repair damage to their genome and ward off cancer.
Schmidt, assistant professor in the College of Human Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, was awarded $1.5 million for his research on a process called the DNA damage response. Cancer can occur when DNA damage response fails, often due to mutations in tumor suppressor genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Schmidt hopes the project will lead to new and better treatments.
With a nearly $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Michigan State University researchers are using nanoscopic particles to turn the body’s own cells into weapons that cancer won’t see coming.
“We are developing a precision, ‘Trojan Horse’ nanotherapy that treats breast cancer without the typical side effects,” said Bryan Smith, an associate professor in MSU’s Biomedical Engineering Department. Smith is also the director of the Translational NanoImmunoEngineering, or T-NIE, Lab, located at the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering.
A cancer research company co-founded by an MSU professor has been acquired by the New York biotechnology firm Lodo Therapeutics Corp. in a move that holds potential for the development of innovative drugs that treat cancerous tumors.
The acquisition of Hibiskus BioPharma was announced Sept. 3. Co-founded by André Bachmann of Michigan State University and MichaelPirrung of the University of California, Riverside, the company was established with support from Spartan Innovations and Red Cedar Ventures, both wholly owned subsidies of the MSU Foundation.