November 17, 2022
Dr. Honggang Cui
Johns Hopkins University
Host: Dr. Weibo Cai (Radiology)
Drugs as Materials Building Blocks to Create Supramolecular Medicine
Drugs are a special class of chemical substances that produce a biological effect when administered to a living organism. For use in medical treatments, nearly all drugs need to be formulated in order to maximize its therapeutic efficacy while minimizing the possible side effects. Often times, the therapeutic agent is considered as the functional cargo to be delivered, and its potential as molecular building blocks has been largely ignored. In this seminar, I detail the use of drugs as effective molecular building units to create discreate supramolecular nanostructures that contain a 100% drug loading for systemic delivery as well as supramolecular hydrogels for local treatment of human diseases. Our studies show that molecular design, assembly conditions and kinetic pathways are all critical factors that govern the resultant nanostructures and consequently the therapeutic outcomes. These findings have led us to believe that self-assembly of drugs offers an innovative yet facile way for drug formulation, producing drug-based nanomaterials for use in a wide variety of biomedical settings.
Honggang Cui is currently Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, and also holds joint appointments in the Department of Oncology and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His work in molecular assembly and biomolecular engineering has led to 140 published manuscripts in journals such as Science, Cell, JACS, PNAS, and Journal of Controlled Release. Dr. Cui received a number of recognitions including the NSF CAREER Award, the Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award, and Johns Hopkins Discovery Award. He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Controlled Release.