Ateneo Physics Talk: “Smart colloids and wet nanotechnology: From reinforced Kevlar to targeted therapeutic proteins” by Dr. Dan Zarraga of Genentech

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga

Title: Smart colloids and wet nanotechnology: From reinforced Kevlar to targeted therapeutic proteins

Dr. Dan E. Zarraga
Late Stage Pharmaceutical Development Department

Date and time: February 10, 2014 (Monday) at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Venue: Faura 113


Progress in colloid science and genetic engineering in the last decade has allowed for the design of smart soft materials and protein drugs at unprecedented levels of detail at the nanoscale. This advent of wet nanotechnologies has opened up application opportunities in soft materials, industrial biology, vaccines, and therapeutic proteins. A brief background on colloid science and protein engineering will be given, then a selection of recent advances and their applications ranging from protective clothing, industrial enzymes, vaccines and targeted protein therapeutics (for cancer, neuroscience, etc) will be described. A short description of unique biophysical techniques to characterize these wet nanotechnologies will also be given, such as small angle neutron scattering, dynamic light scattering, and cryo-electron microscopy. Finally, a glimpse into the potential future applications of wet nanotechnology will be provided.

About the speaker:

Dr. Zarraga obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Philippines in 1993 and completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. in 2000. During his graduate work, he conducted fundamental research on solid-liquid suspensions relevant to a wide variety of industries from solid-liquid rocket fuels to lightweight polymer composites for aircraft and sports applications. He was an industry-academe Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in collaboration with Abbott Pharmaceuticals in Chicago in 2001, where he worked on the microenapsulation of drugs in biopolymers using spray congealing technology. He was then hired as a Senior Engineer in 2002 at 3M Pharmaceuticals in St. Paul Minnesota where he developed a technology platform for the novel drug delivery of immune response modifiers (IRMs) for prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. In 2007, Dr. Zarraga moved to San Francisco to join Genentech’s Late Stage Pharmaceutical Development department as a Manager leading the formulation, development, and process characterization efforts for protein therapeutics. He occasionally teaches part-time at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit institution, as an Adjunct Faculty of Bioengineering. He sits on the industrial board of two private-public consortia, BITC (Biomolecular Interaction Technology Center) and nSOFT (Neutron Scattering of Soft Materials), based at the University of Delaware and the National Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) in Maryland, respectively. He is a frequently invited speaker at conferences, including the American Conference on Neutron Scattering, the Society of Rheology, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Zarraga also actively participates in the Philippine International Aid (PIA) group in San Francisco in support of under-educated youth in Philippine provinces.


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