In "real life", I am a research scientist at the Ordway Research Institute working to discover novel molecular targets for cancer and ways to exploit these targets for therapueutic design. I have published 19 original manuscripts, reviews and book chapters. My work has been presented at 30 national meetings.
I was previously employed as a Senior Scientist at a biotechnology company called VIRxSYS Corporation. Their mission is to develop novel therapies for HIV infection that will prevent a patient from progressing to full-blown AIDS. VIRxSYS is a cutting edge gene therapy company, modifying the HIV virus and using it as a therapeutic gene delivery vector. VIRxSYS has begun Phase I clinical trials of a novel HIV therapeutic called VRX496. At VIRxSYS, I invented a novel method for improving lentiviral transduction into hematopoietic stem cells that is applicable for clinical gene therapy.
I earned my BS in Biology at Binghamton University, formerly known as the State University of New York at Binghamton. I earned my Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, working under Dr. Stanton Gerson, chief of the division of Hematology and Oncology.
In Dr. Gerson's lab, I developed a method of selecting for transduced cells in vivo using a mutant variant of the O6-methyguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene. This paper describes a method that could significantly improve the success of clinical hematopoietic gene therapy. You can view a peer-reviewed manuscript on this subject published in the scientific journal Blood. This approach is currently under clinical investigation in Phase I clinical trials at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
Additional work, in which I developed a high-throughput method to select for enzymes with optimal properties for gene therapy, was performed in collaboration with Drs. Larry Loeb and Lance Encell at the University of Washington. You can view this peer-reviewed manuscript published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For general health and biological science information, including clinical trials, go to the National Institutes of Health web page.