News

Highlights from our Laboratory


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In February, a team of current and previous members of our lab organized the Kopecek Snowbird Symposium, a conference that brought over thirty Kopecek Lab alumni from around the world back to Utah. This conference highlighted the work of these successful alumni as well as the significant and continuing impact Dr. Kopecek has made on the fields of biomaterials and drug delivery throughout his scientific career.

Grants Awarded

  • Bastion Biologics funded research on the biocompatibility and mechanism of action of Drug-free Macromolecular Therapeutics for a period 12/16-06/17.
  • Undergraduate student Mai Doan recieved an Research Assistantship from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), University of Utah.
  • Graduate student D. Christopher Radford received a National Research Service Award (F31) from the National Cancer Institute. The award will support Chris’ research on targeted macromolecular therapeutics for the period 2016-2018.
  • Two new seed grants from the Huntsman Cancer Institute were awarded for a one-year period. Both focus on blood borne cancers: a) A New Strategy for Lymphoproliferative Disorders (J. Kopeček PI, P. Shami, J. Yang, co-PIs); b) Long-Circulating Targeted Nanomedicines for Leukemia Treatment (P. Shami PI; J. Yang, J. Kopeček, co-PIs).
  • The NIH RO1 grant “Drug-free Macromolecular Therapeutics” has been approved for another 4 years – until August 2019.
  • The NIH R42 grant “Backbone Degradable Polymer-drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer” (STTR Phase II) – a collaboration with TheraTarget, Inc. was awarded for a two-year period (September 2014 – August 2016).
  • Dr. Jiyuan Yang was awarded a University of Utah Seed Grant “Novel Strategy to Develop High Therapeutic Index Antibody – Drug Conjugates for Ovarian Cancer Treatment” (July 2015 – June 2016).

Honors & Invited Lectures

  • J. Kopecek received the University of Utah’s Distinguished Mentor Award . This prestigious award is awarded annually to three faculty who have consistently served as effective mentors of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • J. Kopecek gave an invited lecture and Jane an oral presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Biomaterials Science (ICBS2016), November 28-30, 2016, in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Jane Yang presented an invited lecture at the International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials, October 23-25, 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA.
  • J. Kopecek presented an invited lecture at NanoDDS’16, September 16-18, 2016, at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • J. Kopecek presented an invited lecture at the 251th American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego, March 13-17, 2016.
  • J. Kopecek presented an invited lecture “Self-Assembly of Nanoconjugates at the Cell Surface Triggers Apoptosis” at the 251th American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego, March 13-17, 2016.
  • J. Kopecek presented an invited lecture “Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics – A New Paradigm in Polymeric Nanomedicines” at the Pacifichem 2015 Conference in Honolulu, December 15-20, 2015
  • J. Kopecek presented an invited lecture “Polymeric Biomaterials and Nanomedicines” at the 11th International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials, Santa Rosa, California, October 25-27, 2015
  • Graduate Student Jonathan Hartley received The Biomaterials Science Outstanding Poster Award at the 13th International Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery Symposium in Seattle, September 16-18, 2015.
  • Graduate Student Te-Wei Chu received the Best Young Scientist Poster Award at the 17th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems in Salt Lake City, June 14-17, 2015.
     

  • Distinguished Professor Jindrich Henry Kopecek has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa degree from the University of Helsinki, Finland during conferment ceremonies in Helsinki, May 22-24, 2014.

 

 

    • Dr. Rui Zhang presented an invited lecture at the Twelfth International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS’14) in Chapel Hill, NC, October 5-8, 2014.
    • Dr. Kopecek presented an invited lecture “Self-assembly of Nanoconjugates triggers cancer cell suicide” at the 3rd Symposium on Innovative Polymers for Controlled Delivery in Suzhou, China, September 16-19, 2014.
    • Dr. Kopecek presented an invited lecture “Rational Design of Macromolecular Therapeutics” at the 2014 Chinese Pharmaceutical Conference in Changsha, China, September 19-21, 2014.
    • Graduate Student Te-Wei Chu won the podium presentation award (1st place) at the GPEN(Global Pharmaceutics Educational Network) Conference in Helsinki, Finland in August 2014.
  • Te-Wei received the 2014 Fox Award (The awardee is selected once a year by graduate students in the department).
  • Te-Wei presented a podium presentation A ‘Nano’ Way to Trick Cancer Cells into Suicide at the AAPS National Biotechnology Conference in San Diego, May 19-21, 2014. The AAPS blog article highlighted our research http://aapsblog.aaps.org/2014/05/19/a-nano-way-to-trick-cancer-cells-into-suicide/
  • Research Associate Professor Jiyuan (Jane) Yang presented an invited lecture at the International Advanced Drug Delivery Symposium at Tsinghua University, Taiwan, April 29-30, 2014.

Ph. D. Defenses

    • Jonathan Hartley defended his Ph.D. dissertation “Super-Resolution Imaging of Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics” on May 12, 2016.
    • Stewart Low defended his Ph. D. dissertation “Micellar Strategies for Targeting Bone Diseases” on May 29, 2015.
    • Te-Wei Chu defended his Ph. D. dissertation “Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics For Treatment Of B-Cell Malignancies” on April 9, 2015.
    • Zhenghong (Joseph) Peng defended his Ph. D. dissertation “Stimuli-Responsive Targeted Therapeutics for Treatment of Primary and Metastatic Prostate Cancer” on April 8, 2014.
    • Yan (Zoe) Zhou defended her Ph. D. dissertation “Combination Nanomedicine Targeting Cancer Stem Cells and Bulk Tumor Cells for Treatment of Prostate Cancer” on April 3, 2014.

 

On the Road 2016

In March: Henry Kopeček and Jane Yang took part in the American Chemical Society Spring 2016 Meeting in San Diego. Henry presented an invited lecture.
In May: Henry and Jane travelled to Montreal to take part in the World Biomaterials Congress. Jane presented a poster.
In June: Henry travelled to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha to take part in the Advisory Board Meeting of the NIH COBRE program in the Center for Drug Delivery and Nanotechnology. Henry also travelled to Prague to the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
In September: Henry gave an invited lecture at the 14th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS’16) at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
In October: Jane gave an invited lecture at the International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials. Santa Rosa, CA.
In November: Henry gave an invited lecture and Jane an oral presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Biomaterials Science (ICBS2016), Tokyo, Japan.
In December: Henry gave a seminar at the College of Pharmacy of the Setsunam University in Osaka, Japan

On the Road 2015

In January: Henry Kopeček travelled to Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China to present an invited lecture at the International Symposium on Translational Medicine.
In March: Henry presented an Invited lecture at the 3rd Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
In June: the whole laboratory took part in the 17th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems, Salt Lake City. Jane Yang, Te-Wei Chu, Jon Hartley, Chris Radford, Rui Zhang, and Libin Zhang presented posters. Te-Wei was awarded Best Young Scientist Poster Award.
In September: Jon Hartley travelled to Seattle, WA to take part in the 13th International Nanomedicine & Drug Delivery Symposium.  He received the Best Poster Award.
In October: Henry travelled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the National Academy of Engineering Meeting. Henry and Jane participated in the 11th International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials in Santa Rosa, CA.  Henry presented an invited lecture and Jane a poster. Chris presented a poster at the Biomedical Engineering Society 2015 Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida and at the NanoUtah2015 Conference in Salt Lake City.
In November: Henry took part in the Columbia University, New York meeting honoring the 60th birthday of Prof. Kam Leong and presented a Department seminar at Iowa State University in Ames. 
In December: Henry presented an invited lecture at the Pacifichem 2015 Meeting in Honolulu, HI.

ON THE ROAD 2014

In March: Henry Kopecek travelled to Miami to present a Distinguished Lecture at the College of Engineering, University of Miami, and presented an invited lecture at the American Chemical Society Meeting in Dallas, Texas.
In April: Jane Yang travelled to Taiwan to present an invited lecture at the International Advanced Drug Delivery Symposium organized by the National TsingHua University.
In May: Te-Wei Chu was selected for travel award and oral presentation by the organizers of the AAPS National Biotechnology Conference in San Diego, California. Henry travelled to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska for the meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the COBRE program. Then Henry travelled to Prague and presented two lectures to students and postdoctorals at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Highlight of Henry’s travels was the visit of the University of Helsinki, Finland to accept the Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa degree.
In July: Henry travelled to the Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting in Chicago.
In August: Te-Wei Chu presented an oral presentation (awarded first prize!) at the Global Pharmaceutics Educational Network Conference in Helsinki, Finland.
In September: Henry and Jane travelled to China. First they visited prof. Lei Yu’s laboratory at the East China Normal University in Shanghai (lecture and discussions), then they took part in the 3rd Symposium on Innovative Polymers for Controlled Delivery in Suzhou – Henry presented an invited lecture and Jane a poster. The next meeting was the Chinese Pharmaceutics Conference in Changsha, Hunan Province where Henry presented a plenary lecture. On the way back they stopped in Beijing for a lecture and discussions at the Department of Polymer Science of the Peking University.
In October: Rui Zhang presented an invited lecture at the 12th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Henry and Jane travelled to Santa Rosa, California where Henry presented an invited lecture at the 10th International Symposium on Stimuli-Sensitive Materials. Chris Radford presented a poster at the NanoUtah 2014 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

ON THE ROAD 2013

In February: the lab members took part in the 16th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems in Salt Lake City. Te-Wei, Rui, Jonathan, Zoe and Joseph presented posters. Rui’s poster (R. Zhang, J. Yang, M. Sima, J. Kopecek) received a best poster award.
In March: Henry travelled to Los Angeles to present an invited lecture at the 2nd Nanomedicine for Imaging and Treatment Conference, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and continued to Tsukuba, Japan to present an invited talk at the 2nd International Conference on Biomaterial Science (ICBS2013).
In May: Henry travelled to Prague to present a Keynote at the XIX. General Meeting of the Learned Society (Academy) of the Czech Republic. From Prague Henry continued to Seoul, Korea to present an invited talk at the Joint Symposium of the 5th Utah-Inha DDS & Advanced Therapeutic Research Center Symposium and the 7th International Symposium on Intelligent DDS.
In July: Rui, Jane, and Henry travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii to take part in the 40th Annual Meeting of the Controlled Release Society. Rui and Jane presented posters.
In August: Henry presented an invited lecture at the 15th IUPAC International Symposium Macromolecular Complexes (MMC-15) in Greenville, South Carolina.
In September: Henry presented an invited lecture at the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Indianapolis.
In early October: Henry travelled to Washington, DC to take part in the meeting of the National Academy of Engineering and to Santa Rosa, California to present an invited lecture at the ACS Workshop Polymers in Medicine and Biology. Most of the lab took part in the NanoUtah 2013 meeting in Salt Lake City. Te-Wei presented an oral presentation.
At the end of October: Henry presented a lecture at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic at a symposium honoring the 100th anniversary of Prof. Wichterle, the inventor of soft contact lenses. From Prague Henry went to Hangzhou, China to present an invited lecture at the Third Sino-German Symposium “Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications”.


ON THE ROAD 2012

In March: Henry presented an invited lecture at the 6th International Symposium on Intelligent Drug Delivery Systems in Seoul, Korea and Zoe (Yan Zhou) presented an oral presentation at the 11th International Symposium on Biorelated Polymers – a part of the Spring 2012 American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego, California.
In May: Henry travelled to Helsinki to Chair the Programmable Materials Study Section of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and review grant proposals of Finnish scientists. Te-Wei Chu presented a poster at the AAPS National Biotechnology Conference in San Diego, California.
At the end of May and early June: Henry and Jane (Jiyuan Yang) lectured in China. Henry gave the opening lecture at the Xiangshan Science Conference on Frontiers of Smart Polymeric Biomaterials in The Fragrant Hill Hotel in Beijing, at the Nankai University in Tianjin, and the opening lecture at the International Workshop on Nanomedicine organized by the Bioengineering Department of Tsinghua University in Beijing. Jane gave an oral presentation at the 9th World Biomaterials Congress in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Henry was organizer of one of the symposia.
In July: Henry and Pavla were in Prague at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (both spent 25 years of their academic careers in this Institute); Henry was the Honorary Chair and invited speaker at the Polymers in Medicine 2012 Meeting honoring Henry’s former student, K. Ulbrich. Pavla gave a lecture reviewing his scientific career. In mid July Henry presented an invited lecture and Jane a poster at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Controlled Release Society in Quebec City, Canada. At the end of July Henry presented an invited lecture at the 4th International NanoBio Conference in Seattle, Washington. Stewart Low travelled to Tokyo for a two-months summer internship in Prof. K. Kataoka’s laboretory at the University of Tokyo.
In September: Henry presented an invited lecture at the Department of Bioengineering, Case Western Reserve University.
In October: Rui Zhang presented an oral presentation and Te-Wei Chu a poster at the 8th Annual Nanotechnology Conference NanoUtah2012 in Salt Lake City and Henry travelled to Santa Rosa, California to present an opening lecture at the 8th International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials.
In November: Henry travelled to Helsinki to present a seminar at the School of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki and a Keynote Opening lecture at the Seminar organized by the Finnish Academy of Sciences at the start of the new research program. On the way back Henry stopped in Prague, to present a lecture at the Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic at a meeting honoring the 70th birthday of Prof. B. Rihova. Zoe travelled to Melbourne, Australia; she was selected to represent the Department and present a poster at the GPEN (Global Pharmaceutics Education Network) Meeting at Monash University. On Thanksgiving holiday the lab went to West Yellowstone for cross-country skiing (see Social).
In December: Henry and Pavla travelled to Atlantic City; Henry presented an opening lecture and Pavla evaluated student posters at the 10th International Drug Delivery Symposium (NanoDDS’12). Then both travelled to Maui, Hawaii where Henry presented an invited lecture at the Innovations in Polymers and Biomaterials Symposium honoring the 80th birthday of Prof. Allan Hoffman.


NEW GRANTS

  • A new DoD grant “FRET Imaging Trackable Long-Circulating Biodegradable Nanomedicines for Ovarian Carcinoma Therapy” has been awarded for a 2-year period 9/2013-8/2015.
  • A new NIH RO1 grant “Coiled-Coil Based Drug-Free Macromolecular Therapeutics” has been awarded for a 4-year period ending in 2015.
  • A NIH R41 grant (collaboration with TheraTarget) has been awarded for a one-year period ending in February 2013. This research is also sponsored by a matching grant from the State of Utah. We just (12/12) submitted a Phase II grant proposal.

AWARDS

  • Both Steve and Shwan received “Undergraduate Research Assistantship (2013-2014)” from Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), University of Utah.
  • Jon Hartley received a stipend from the Whitaker Foundation that supported his summer internship (June 16 to August 14) at the Centro de Investigacion Principe Felipe in Valencia, Spain. In Dr. Maria Vicent’s Polymer Therapeutics Laboratory he investigated the localization of a novel coiled coil therapeutic for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Stewart Low has been accepted for the “Summer Internship Program 2012” offered by the Global COE Program “Center for Medical System Innovation”. He worked in Prof. Kataoka’s lab in the University of Tokyo from July 2 to Aug 24.
  • Zoe (Yan) Zhou has been selected to attend the 2012 GPEN Conference in Melbourne, Australia November 28-December 1, 2012

Special Santa Claus Award from Kopecek Lab

  • The 1st Santa Claus Award winner (2011) is Oi (Archara Duangjai) for her unbeatable monthly report and group meeting presentation. Moni and Zoe got Santa Helper Award for their valuable contribution and help to the group people.
  • The 2nd Santa Claus Award winner (2012) is Rui for his creative and promising work. Jon and Te-Wei also shared the award due to their unique attitute and perfermance on their graduate student study process. Dalynn got a special award for her dedicated service and charming optimistic spirit.

PHOTO REPORT 2012

  • Henry visited Nankai University, Sichuan University and Tsinghua University, China.
  • Henry and Jane in CRS annual conference.
  • Henry, Rui and Te-Wei in NanoUtah, 2012.

 

Congratulations to Henry!

  • Jindrich Kopecek was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
  • The Introduction of the new members to the NAE took place at the Keck Center of the National Academies, Washington D.C., on October 15, 2011
  • Pictures are from Induction Ceremony and the Reception and Council Dinner in Washington D.C.

  • Pavla Kopeckova changed her status to Research Professor Emerita.

 

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The picture is from group traditional celebration of the Birthday Lunch in September 2011. Pavla is showing her Certficate issued by the University of Utah.

 

ON THE ROAD 2011

In February: the lab members took part in the 15th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Salt Lake City. Henry presented an invited lecture and Pavla, Kui, Zoe, Huaizhong, and Michael presented posters.
In March: Henry presented an invited lecture at the Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Research Conference, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. Then Henry and Jane took part in the Spring 2011 American Chemical Society Meeting in Annaheim, CA; Henry presented an invited lecture. The planned trip to Tsukuba, Japan for the symposium honoring Prof. Kataoka was cancelled due to the unfortunate earthquake.
In April: Henry presented a Department seminar at the Bioengineering Department of Clemson University.
In May: Henry and Pavla took part in the Russian-Hellenic Symposium “Biomaterials and Bionanomaterials: Recent Advances and Safety-Toxicology Issues” in Heraklion, Crete. Henry presented an invited lecture. The symposium helped Pavla and Henry to refresh the Russia-some lectures were presented in Russian. After returning to the USA, Henry travelled to Memphis to present a seminar at the College of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee.
In June: Henry presented a keynote lecture at the Meeting of the University of Nebraska COBRE program in Nebraska City. Henry is on the advisory board of the program. Then Henry travelled to Tokyo, Japan to present a plenary lecture at the 27th Meeting of the Japan Society of Drug Delivery Systems. In late June Henry presented a lecture at the Nitto Denko Co. in Oceanside, California. Michael was selected as a member of the US delegation at the 61st Lindau Meeting in Germany. At this meeting 25 Nobel Prize winners met graduate students from all over the world for 5 days. After the meeting his wife joined him for a short visit of southern Germany and Prague, Czech Republic.
In August: the Student Chapter of the Controlled Release Society at the University of Illinois, Chicago invited Henry to present akeynote lecture at their annual meeting. Later in the month, Henry presented a seminar at the Advanced Technologies and Regenerative Medicine Company (part of Johnson&Johnson).
In September:
Henry presented an invited lecture at the 20th Drug Research Congress in Helsinki, Finland.
In October: Michael travelled to Seattle to present a poster at the United States Pharmacopeia Symposium on Biologics and Technology. In mid October there were two actions on the same weekend. The whole lab (except Henry and Pavla) took part in the 9th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium in Salt Lake City. Zoe, Joseph, Stewart, and Huaizhong presented posters.
In Late October: Jane took part in the Short Course Cells on Polymeric Biomaterials at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Henry presented a plenary lecture at the 6th International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
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Stewart enthusiastically explaining his research
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Zoe – discussing with Maria Vicent

 

NEW AND ROTATING STUDENTS/POSTDOCS in 2011

  • Te-Wei Chu from the Biological Chemistry Program joined our laboratory after his rotation in Spring 2011.
  • Jonathan Hartley, Bioengineering Student supported by the nanotechnology Training Program joined our lab for a 6-months rotation.
  • Acheporn (Oi) Duangjai (MS physiology 2006), Instructor, School of Medical Sciences, University of Phayao, Thailand joined our laboratory as Visiting Scientist in late August 2011.
  • Rui Zhang, Ph.D. from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, joined our laboratory in November 2011 as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • Jonathan Falconer, Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry joined our lab for a November-December 2011 rotation.

 


 

LAB VISITORS in 2011

  • Dr. Johng Rhim from the Center for Prostate Cancer Research, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD visited our laboratory on May 26-29, 2011 to give a Department seminar and discuss collaboration in cancer stem cells.
  • Drs. Vladimir Subr, Libor Kostka, and Martin Studenovsky from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic visited our Biomedical Polymers Laboratory on October 11, 2011
  • Monika Gosecka, a graduate student from the Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, Poland visited our laboratory (supported by a NSF stipend) August 30-September 8, 2011

 

On Feb. 12, over thirty of our previous members came back for Pavla’s retirement party. Some of them attended the 15th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Salt Lake City.


 

STUDENT DEFENSES in 2010

  • Larisa Radu-Wu, defended her Ph.D. dissertation on August 12, 2010
  • Kuangshi Wu, defended his Ph.D. dissertation on August 12, 2010

 


 

STUDENT DEFENSES in 2009

  • Russell Johnson, defended his Ph.D. dissertation on June 23, 2009

 


 

STUDENT DEFENSES in 2008

  • Vaikunth Cuchelkar defended his Ph.D. dissertation on April 23, 2008
  • Padmanbh Chivukula defended his Ph.D. dissertation on May 19, 2008
  • Jarunee Hongrapipat, exchange student from Thailand, performed all experiments for her dissertation in our lab from 2005 to 2007. She defended her Ph.D. dissertation at Mahidol University on May 20, 2008
  • Songqi Gao defended her Ph.D. dissertation on May 29, 2008
  • Weiwei Yuan defended her M.S. thesis on August 6, 2008

 


 

COLLABORATION AGREEMENT

Our (Biomedical Polymers) Laboratory signed a collaborative agreement with the National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, Sichuan University, China. The Center of Professor Zhong-wei Gu and our laboratory will perform collaborative research projects and exchange graduate students and scientists in the period 2008-2012.

 


 

NEWS FROM OUR PAST MEMBERS

  • Ping Yang Yeh (Ph.D. 1994) moved to Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA. He accepted a position of Exceutive Director, Drug Product Development.
  • Vaikunth Cuchelkar (Ph.D. 2008) moved to Los Angeles, California.
  • Chun Wang (Ph.D. 2001) was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Minnesota.
  • Hsin-Cheng Chiu (Ph.D. 1994) accepted a (full) Professor position at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • Hamid Ghandehari (Ph.D. 1996) joined the Departments of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and of Bioengineering, University of Utah as USTAR Professor in November 2007. Welcome back home!
  • Tamara Minko, Ph.D. (Research faculty 1997-2000) was appointed Chair, Department of Pharmaceutics, Rutgers University.
  • Dong Wang, Ph.D. (postdoctoral and research faculty 1998-2004) was aworded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • David Putnam (Ph.D. 1995) was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. David was awarded the Controlled Release Society 2007 Young Investigator Award. This award honors the best scientist in drug delivery of age below 40.
  • Zheng-Rong Lu (postdoctoral and research faculty 1996-2001) accepted a (full) Professor position in the Department of Bioengineering, Case-Western University, effective May 2009.
  • Padmanbh Chivukula (Ph.D. 2008) joined Nitto Denko Technical Corporation research unit in Oceanside, California.
  • Weiwei Yuan (M.S. in 2008) joined pharmaceutical company in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 


 

NEW AND ROTATING STUDENTS/POSTDOCS (2008-2010)

  • Staffan Berg, University of Helsinki, Finland, joined our lab in January 2011 for 6 months to work on targeted long-circulating macromolecular therapeutics.
  • Stefan Krimmer, Philipps University Marburg, Germany, joined our lab in January 2010 for 6 month within the framework of the GPEN exchange program.
  • Michael T. Jacobsen, joined our laboratory in June 2009 as a Ph.D. student in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
  • Yan (Zoe) Zhou, joined our laboratory in August 2009 as a Ph.D. student in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
  • Stewart Low, joined our laboratory in June 2009 as a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering.
  • Kui Luo, Ph.D. from Sichuan University, China, joined our laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2009.
  • Ehud Segal, student of Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro visited April-May 2008 to work get acquainted with the synthesis of HPMA copolymer conjugates.
  • Hillevi Bauer, Philipps University Marburg, Germany joined our laboratory in May 2008 for 12 months in the framework of the GPEN (Global Pharmaceutics Education Network) exchange program.
  • Timucin Ugurlu, Ph.D., University of Marmara, Istanbul, Turkey joined our laboratory on February 1, 2008 for 8 months research visit.
  • Shraddha Sadekar, a Patel Fellow from he Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry joined our laboratory for a rotation on January 7, 2008.
  • Zhenghong Peng, M.S. joined our laboratory in January 2009 as graduate student in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
  • Michael T. Jacobsen from the Biological Chemistry program joined our laboratory for a rotation in January-March 2009.
  • Solvejg Langer, Philipps University Marburg, Germany joined our laboratory in November 2008 for 6 months in the framework of the GPEN exchange program.

 


 

AWARDS

  • JINDRICH KOPECEK
    Elected member, National Academy of Engineering, 2011
  • MICHAEL JACOBSEN
    US Pharmacopeia Fellow, 2010-2011
    American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Award, 2010-2011; 2011-2012
  • JINDRICH KOPECEK
    Lifetime Achievement Award, Journal of Drug Targeting, 2011
    Fellow, Controlled Release Society, 2010
    Honorary Professorship, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, 2007
  • KUANGSHI WU
    American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Award (2007, 2008 and 2009)

 


 

LAB VISITORS (2007-2010)

Numerous visitors during the Symposium on Biomedical Polymers for Drug Delivery,
University of Utah, March 26-27, 2010. This symposium was honoring Henry’s 70’s birthday.

  • Dong Wang, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, visited our laboratory on February 9 and 10, 2009 to discuss collaboration in bone targeted drug delivery systems. He also presented a Department seminar.
  • Ayelet David, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Ben Gurion University, Israel and her student Y. Shamay visited our laboratory on February 13, 2009 to discuss collaboration within the framework of US-Israel Binational Science Foundation.
  • Miroslav Subr, Ph.D. from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic visited our Biomedical Polymers Laboratory on February 19, 2009.
  • Prof. Sergiy Minko, Clarkson University visited our lab on July 14. He also presented a departmental seminar.
  • Prof. Dusan Berek from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia, visited our group for four days in April 2008. He presented a lecture on the departmental seminar: Liquid Chromatography of Synthetic Polymers.
  • Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro from Tel Aviv University visited our lab on April 16-17, 2008. She presented a departmental seminar lecture. Her graduate student Ehud Segal stayed for 2 months to work on a collaboration project.
  • Dr. Ayelet David from Ben Gurion University, Israel visited in July 2007 to discuss collaborations in the area of targetable anticancer drugs.
  • Prof. Thomas Kissel from the Philipps University Marburg, Germany visited in July 2007. He presented a Distinguished Department Seminar, discussed student exchange, and we planned collaborative work on the relationship between their structure and physicochemical properties.
  • Dr. Cestmir Konak from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, visited our laboratory for more than two weeks in May 2007. He taught a one-week laboratory course in light scattering for the Department’s graduate students, and then he worked with Jane and Kuangshi on the kinetics of self-assembly of graft copolymers into hydrogels.
  • Prof. Blanka Rihova and Dr. Ondrej Hovorka from the Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, visited our laboratory for 10 days in February- March 2007 to work on our mutual Fogarty grant on immunochemotherapy.

 


 

ON THE ROAD 2010

In March: Henry presented a lecture at Merck Co. in West Point, Pennsylvania. The whole lab took part in the Symposium on Biomedical Polymers for Drug Delivery. This international meeting on the University of Utah campus was organized by Henry’s former students to celebrate his 70thbirthday. Henry presented a plenary lecture and Jane, Jihua, Kuangshi, Larisa, Huaizhong, and Kui presented posters. There were 3 plenary lectures, 19 invited lectures and 50 posters. It was nice to meet many friends and present and former coworkers.
In May: Henry took part in the Scientific Advisory Board meeting at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
In June: Henry travelled to Korea to present an invited lecture at the 4th Inha Nano-Clinic Symposium & The 2nd Symposium of Utah-Inha DDS & Advanced Therapeutics Research Center, Inha University, Incheon and give seminars at Seoul University and Hanyang University in Seoul; Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Samyang Company in Daejeon.
In July: Henry took part in the Controlled Release Society Symposium in Portland
In August: Henry presented an invited lecture at the Gordon Research Conference on Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology in New Hampshire.
In September: Henry and Jane travelled to China. Henry presented lectures at the Sino-German Symposium on Bioinspired Systems for Drug, Gene, and Protein Delivery at Sichuan University in Chengdu, Symposium on Innovative Polymers for Controlled Delivery, Suzhou University in Suzhou, and at Zhejian University in Hangzhou.
In October: Henry travelled to Israel to present an opening lecture at the 7th Meeting of the Israeli Chapter of the Controlled Release Society in Haifa, discuss mutual research with Ronit Satchi-Fainaro’s lab at Tel Aviv University, visit collaborating lab of Ayelet David and present a lecture at Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva and visit Avri Rubinstein’s lab at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Henry returned via Prague where he visited the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry.
In December: Henry travelled to the Pacifichem 2010 Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii and presented 2 invited lectures. Finally, at the end of the year, Henry and Pavla took part in a National Geographic expedition to Egypt and Jordan to celebrate their 70th birthdays.

 

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Past and current members of Kopecek group attending the conference

 

ON THE ROAD 2009

In February: the lab members took part in the 14th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems in Salt Lake City. Jihua Liu and Russell Johnson presented posters. In March, Henry presented seminars at the Center of Nanoscale Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. The Spring Meeting of the American Chemical Society took place in Salt Lake City, Jane Yang and Huaizhong Pan presented posters.
In April: Jihua travelled to Denver to take part and present a poster at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.
In May: Henry was the first CIMA distinguished lecturer at the University of Minnesota, presented a seminar at the Tokyo Women Medical University, Japan and delivered a plenary lecture at the 8th International Symposium on Frontiers in Biomedical Polymers in Mishima, Japan.
In June: Henry travelled to Moscow, Russia to teach in the 1st International Summer School on Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies in Living Systems.
In July: Henry and Pavla went to Prague to take part (Henry as Honorary Chairman) in the Symposium celebrating 50 years of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Both spent the first 25 years of their academic careers in this Institute. While in Prague, Henry presented an invited lecture at the 34th FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) Congress. From Prague Henry and Pavla travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark where Henry presented a plenary lecture at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Controlled Release Society.
In August: Henry and Jane participated in the Fall Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. Henry presented an invited lecture.
In September: Henry travelled to Shanghai, China to deliver a plenary lecture at the 4th International Pharmaceutical Symposium. Larisa Radu-Wu delivered an oral presentation at the 5th Annual Mountain West Biomedical Engineering Conference in Park City, Utah.
In October: Larisa presented a poster at the Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting in Pittsburgh and Henry, Pavla, Jane, Larisa and Kuangshi Wu took part in the NanoUtah 2009 Meeting in Salt Lake City. Larisa and Kuangshi presented posters.
At the end of October: Henry presented a plenary lecture at the 4th International Symposium on Stimuli-Sensitive Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
In November: Henry presented an invited lecture at the Moving Targets Symposium in Los Angeles. This meeting was organized by the AAPS Student Chapter of the University of Southern California. Kuangshi took part and presented a poster at the Annual Meeting of the AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists) in Los Angeles.


 

On the Road 2008

In February: Henry took part in the evaluation of Merck’s research program.
In April: Henry presented an invited lecture at the American Chemical Society Meeting in New Orleans. It was his first visit after Katrina. The center of the city has looked great, the suburbs need a lot of work. Jane and Larisa presented posters at the FNANO08 conference in Snowbird, Utah- a 25-minute drive from campus.
At the end of April: Pavla and Henry traveled to Taiwan to present invited lectures at the International Drug Delivery Symposium at the National Tsing Hua University (the picture from the symposium organized excursion to 101 building in Taipei is shown). The conference was excellent, but the highlight of the travel was meeting our former student, Professor Hsin-Cheng Chiu and other University of Utah alumni. A report from the dinner with alumni is below.
In May: Pavla traveled to Valencia, Spain to present at the International Symposium on Polymer Therapeutics.
In June: Henry went on an “around the world” trip; first to Stockholm, Sweden to present an invited lecture at the International Workshop on Biomacromolecules. He continued to Chongqing, China (via Beijing and visit of Peking University) to deliver an invited talk at the US/China Materials Research Societies Meeting. Jane flew in from Salt Lake City and presented a poster. After several days in Salt Lake City, Henry left for Cardiff, UK to give an invited lecture at the Symposium on Cellular Delivery of Therapeutic Macromolecules.
In September: Henry, Pavla, Jihua, and Huaizhong took part in the Gordon Conference on Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology in Big Sky, Montana (see photos at “Social”). We were quite active-one discussion leader, on short oral talk, and two posters. Big Sky can be reached in 6 hours by car via West Yellowstone. It is a pity that the Gordon Conferences Headquarters are planning to close this site. After the meeting, Jihua and Huaizhong visited Yellowstone National Park and Henry and Pavla went to Glacier National Park. Stunning countryside!
In September: Weiwei presented a poster at the Annual Mountain West Biomedical Engineering Conference in Park City and Henry traveled to Enzon to discuss our results in the area anticancer therapeutics.
In October: Henry presented a seminar at the Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha. Then the laboratory took part in the NanoUtah2008 meeting in Salt Lake City, Henry presented the opening lecture and Pavla, Huazhong, Jihua, and Weiwei presented posters. At the end of October Henry and Jane travelled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the 3rdAnnual International Meeting on Stimuli-Responsive Materials. Henry presented a plenary lecture and Jane a poster.
In November: Henry and Jihua travelled to Washington, D.C. to present our research at the (by invitation only) Translational Science Meeting organized by the National Cancer Institute. Henry presented a Grand Rounds seminar at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah.
In December: Henry travelled to Geneva, Switzerland to take part in the Ph.D. defense of a student of Prof. Gurny and presented a seminar at the College of Pharmacy, University of Geneva. From Geneva Henry continued to Prague to discuss collaborative projects at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.


 

Alumni dinner in Taipei 2008

Participants:

  • Hsin-Cheng Chiu, Ph.D. Pharm. Chem. 1994 (J. Kopecek); at present Professor of Chemical Engineering. National Chung Hsing University
  • Chien-Hsin Daniel Cheng, Ph.D. U of Michighan, postdoctoral U of U (W.I. Higuchi); at present Consultant, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu
  • Chung-Yih Wang, Ph.D. Bioengineering 1997 (J. Andrade), at present Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Tatung University
  • Muh-Hwan Su, Ph.D. Pharm. Chem. 1992 (W.I. Higuchi); at present Chief Scientific Officer, Sinphar Group
  • I-Nan Chang, Ph.D. Mat. Sci. 1994 (J. Andrade); at present R&D Manager, ANT Technology Co.
  • Jer Hsu, Ph.D. Chem. Eng. 1993 (W.I. Higuchi); at present Scientific Officer, Essentia Co.
  • Yeong-Shang (John) Lin, Ph.D. Mat. Sci. 1993 (J. Andrade); at present General Manager Broptics Technology Inc.
  • Jeff Chang, Ph.D. Pharm. Chem. 2007 (S.W. Kim); at present postdoctoral at UCLA
  • Yuan-Hung Hsu, Ph.D. Chem. Eng. 2006 Chung Hsing U. (H.C. Chiu; 2nd generation Utah); at present Scientific Officer, Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu

 


 

On the Road 2007

In February, Henry and Jihua Liu traveled to the 7th International Symposium on Polymer Therapeutics in Berlin, Germany. Henry was invited to give a plenary lecture on the state-of-the-art in the field and Jihua presented a poster on the mechanism of internalization of polymer conjugates. They returned in time for the 13th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Drug Delivery Systems, which took place at the end of February in Salt Lake City. Our whole laboratory took part in the meeting; Jon Callahan, Jihua Liu, Jarunee Hongrapipat, Huaizhong Pan, and Alexander Malugin presented posters. In March Henry chaired an NIH site visit to Rutgers University and presented a department seminar at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Wyoming in Laramie. In April, Henry presented seminars at the Department of Molecular Pharmaceutics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, NC. At the end of the month Henry traveled to Amsterdam to take part in the Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress. He organized a scientific session and presented an invited lecture. In May, Henry and Pavla traveled to the Czech Republic to take part in the meeting of the Czech Learned Society (Henry is a honorary member) and to present a plenary (Henry) and invited (Pavla) lectures at the 5th International Workshop on Drug Delivery Systems in Trest. At the end of May Henry traveled to Montreal, Quebec to present an invited lecture at the10th International Symposium on Pharmaceutical Sciences. In late August, Henry visited the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic to evaluate data of mutual research and prepare manuscripts. From Prague, Henry went to Manchester, UK where he presented at the British Pharmaceutical Society Meting, at a section organized by the UK-Ireland local chapter of the Controlled Release Society. A highlight of the conference was a dinner meeting with Prof. John Lloyd a collaborator since 1978! In late September, Henry, Russell, Larisa, Jane, Huaizhong, and Kuangshi took part in the 3rd Intermountain West Biomedical Engineering Conference in Park City. In October, Henry and Pavla traveled to China at the invitation of Professor Zhong-wei Gu. Henry gave lectures at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing; West China School of Pharmacy, Sichuan University, Chengdu; and at the National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, Sichuan University. In addition, Henry took part in the ceremony awarding him an Honorary Professorship of Sichuan University and in discussions on a collaborative agreement between the Center and our laboratory. On the way back, Henry and Pavla stopped in Shanghai to visit the new Shanghai Tissue Engineering Center. The weekend in Sichuan was amazing, the Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong Valleys are stunning; it is a dreamlike beauty! Finally, Henry, Kuangshi, and Jane traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the 2nd Annual International Symposium on Stimuli-Responsive Materials. Henry presented a plenary lecture and Jane and Kuangshi posters. Of interest was the tour of the facilities; there are 18 faculties with polymer-related research at the University of Southern Mississippi.