Michael Hershfield, MD, professor of medicine (Rheumatology and Immunology) and biochemistry, and Angus Hucknall, BME senior research scientist in the Pratt School of Engineering, have received a 2016 Coulter-Duke Translational Partnership grant for their project "Next-Generation Non-Immunogenic PEG-like Protein Conjugates."
They will develop a novel polymer that can increase the stability of biologic drugs in the same manner as the polymer poly(ethylene glycol) PEG, without inducing the antibodies and allergic reactions that have impeded some clinical trials of PEGylated biologics.
Hershfield and Hucknall are one of five teams who received a 2016 Coulter-Duke Translational Partnership grant. Each team has a lead investigator with an appointment in the Pratt School of Engineering’sDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, and at least one faculty or staff member from the Duke University School of Medicine, as required by the original agreement with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation in 2005.
This year’s recipients are developing devices that range from a robotic surgical assist device for improving corneal transplant to a point-of-care imaging device that uses ultrasound to measure the elasticity of skin and liver tissue, allowing physicians to better diagnose skin and liver sclerosis. The common thread among all of the projects is a plan to move these ideas out of the ivory tower and into the commercial world so that they can improve patient care.