Medical Engineering Special Seminar

Tuesday March 28, 2017 4:00 PM

Engineered Peptide Therapeutics as Next-Generation Medicines

Speaker: Cesar de la Fuente, PhD., Department of Biological Engineering, Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: Annenberg 105
Antibiotic-resistant infections will kill 10 million people worldwide annually by 2050, costing the global economy $100 trillion. Therefore, novel approaches for treating infectious diseases are urgently needed. In this talk, I will introduce a convergence approach that combines bio-inspired peptide engineering, synthetic biology, high-throughput screening and animal models to generate a new world of peptide therapies to combat antibiotic resistance in medical devices and other clinical applications. The nanopeptides generated are capable of eradicating biofilms and other difficult-to-treat infections through direct killing, or by targeting the host through modulation of the innate immune response. I will also discuss recent efforts to design peptides for precision microbial engineering and my overarching vision of generating a peptide encyclopedia designed to treat every medically relevant microbe. In addition, I will provide evidence that this platform technology can be directly applied to medical devices, and may be leveraged to address some of the most pressing unmet clinical needs in our society, including microbiome engineering and cancer.

Biography: Dr. Cesar de la Fuente is a Postdoctoral Associate and Areces Foundation Fellow with Prof. Timothy K. Lu at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research focuses on discovering novel therapeutics to treat infectious diseases using a convergence science approach. At MIT, Dr. de la Fuente is expanding his expertise in peptide engineering, synthetic and computational biology. He previously completed postdoctoral research at the University of British Columbia, where he also received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014 as a La Caixa Foundation Fellow. He has published >40 papers and is inventor and co-inventor of multiple patents. He has received numerous awards, including most recently being recognized by MIT Technology Review as an "Innovator Under 35" and being named "30 Under 30 Latino Boston". goo.gl/Iylb0A
Series: Medical Engineering Seminar Series
Contact: Christine Garske ccgarske@gmail.com
For more information visit: http://mede.caltech.edu/events/joint_speakers
Division of Engineering and Applied Science