New paradigms for preventing and treating viral infections: Pediatric Tech Talk

Science has made significant gains in the fight against infectious diseases in the past several decades, perhaps the most notable of which is declining mortality rates from HIV and hepatitis C. Nevertheless, overall mortality rates from all infectious diseases has remained relatively stable.

There are very real concerns about new drug development’s ability to keep up with development of drug resistance and the speed at which infectious diseases can cross the globe.

In early 2019, Lien Van Hoecke and Kenny Roose wrote in the Journal of Translational Medicine, “Wider accessibility and implementation of antibody-based therapeutics is however hindered by manufacturing challenges and high development costs inherent to protein-based drugs. For these reasons, alternative ways are being pursued to produce and deliver antibodies more cost-effectively without hampering safety. Over the past decade, messenger RNA (mRNA) based drugs have emerged as a highly appealing new class of biologics that can be used to encode any protein of interest directly in vivo.”

Dr. Philip J. Santangelo is a Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. In 1998, he obtained his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and then was a postdoctoral fellowship at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. He also spent time as a research faculty member at Georgia Tech until becoming an Assistant Professor in 2007. Dr. Santangelo’s research focuses on the development of imaging tools for the study of viral pathogenesis and immune responses, and the development of mRNA-based therapies and vaccines.

Dr. Santangelo discussed his research into mRNA-based therapeutics, what they are and how we are using them for prevention and treatment. If you are interested in new approaches to preventing and treating viral infection, including synthetic mRNA and gene modulation technology, you will find Dr. Santangelo’s Pediatric Tech Talk of high value.