Expertise

Specifically, my research interests are in optimizing drug dosing schedules and developing nanomedicines and exploiting such drug carriers for the treatment of primary and metastatic cancer. We have a specific interest in the development and combination of vascular targeting and conventional oncolytic agents to induce immediate tumor regression and/or facilitate long-term tumor dormancy. Our primary aims are to (i) determine the direct anti-tumor effect and ability of novel nanoparticulate drug carriers to limit tumor growth and metastases in vivo, (ii) gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of the antitumor/vascular effects following acute (high-dose) and chronic (low-dose, protracted treatment), (iii) develop a mechanistic understanding of how long-circulating nanoparticulate drug carriers can be used and optimized to enhance conventional antitumor activity while mediating novel antivascular or antiangiogenic effects, (iv) examine the use of existing and novel tumor/vascular molecular targeting moieties, (v) develop mathematical expressions (PK/PD-modeling) to describe drug exposure-response relationships, and use them to predict optimal drug dosing schedules and test new hypotheses, and (vi) determine the effect of tumor microenvironment and acute and chronic concomitant administration of conventional and selective tumor vascular acting agents at high and low doses for the treatment of primary and metastatic disease.

To accomplish these goals we are pursuing two major research projects currently, i) the primary objective is to test hypotheses that alteration in tumor vasculature function or growth using antiangiogenic agents and/or low-dose sustained exposure to chemotherapeutic agents (referred to as metronomic or antiangiogenic dosing), can be used to improve cancer therapy, and ii) exploit differences in tumor microenvironment to modulate the rate and extent of drug-release from drug-carriers. In pursuing this research, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) principles are used as tools for the selection of novel therapeutic agents, design of rational drug delivery strategies to improve therapy and elucidation of mechanisms underlying drug action.

Affiliations

Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University

Senior Scientist, Experimental Therapeutics, UAB O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center

Past Affiliations

Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Adjunct Professor, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia (past)

Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences

Postdoctoral Fellow, Small Animal Imaging Facility

Associate Member, Center for Drug Discovery, University of Georgia (past)

Scientist, Liquid and Parenteral Formulations Research

Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo (past)

Associate Member, Biomedical Health Sciences Institute, University of Georgia (past)

Associate Member, Georgia Cancer Center, University of Georgia (past)

Associate Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University

Communities
Small Animal Surgery/Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy
Degrees
PhD, University at Buffalo, Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2004
BS, State University of New York, Plattsburgh, Biochemistry, 1994
Keywords
pharmacology cancer or carcinogenesis pharmaceuticals drug delivery systems pharmacokinetics antineoplastic agents chemotherapy methods of drug delivery nanotechnology nanomedicine nanoparticles preclinical translational studies pk/pd
Languages
English
Honors

Teacher of the Year Award, University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy, 2011

Induction into Rho Chi Society, Academic Honors Society of Pharmacy, 2009

Distinguished Cancer Scholar, Georgia Cancer Coaltion, 2007

First Prize - Poster Competition, Alteration in Pharmacokinetics, Drug Biodistribution, and Tumor Vascular Permeability after Repetitive Treatment with Doxorubicin Liposomes in Rats, The 7th Annual Regional Cancer Center Consortium for Biological Treatment of Cancer (Roswell Park Cancer Institute), 2004

Presenter - Graduate Student Symposium in Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Sciences, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS National Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah), 2003-2003

Best Platform Presentation Award, Modulation of Tumor Vascular Permeability by Doxorubicin Liposomes, University at Buffalo - Roswell Park Drug Research Symposium, 2003

Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Scholar Award, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (University at Buffalo), 2002-2002

Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Award, Reversed-Phase LC-MS/MS Assay for TNP-470, Sigma Xi, 2002

Fellow - AFPE, American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, 1999-2002

Associations
American Association for Cancer Research
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
International Liposome Society