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CATEGORY: BioengineeringClear

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Lance A. Liotta

University Professor and Co-director, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine

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Expertise: Health Care, Cancer, Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Proteomics, Biomarkers

One of the first scientists to investigate the process of tumor invasion and metastasis at the molecular level, Liotta has invented technologies in the fields of diagnostics, immunoassays, microdissection, and proteomics that have been used to make broad discoveries in genomics, functional genetics, and tissue proteomics. Prior to joining George Mason University, he served as chief of the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research and as deputy director for Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Health. Liotta earned a medical degree and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. His research contributions have generated 90 issued patents and more than 600 articles in peer-reviewed publications. Included among Liotta’s numerous awards for cancer research are three Public Health Service Commissioned Corps medals, the Arthur S. Fleming Award, the Warner Lambert/Parke Davis Award, the Rhoads Memorial Award, the Milken Family Foundation Award for Basic Research, the Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medallion, and the Maud L. Menten Lecture Award. In addition, he is the recipient of the National Institutes of Health Award of Merit, the Cotlove Research Award, the Ballantyne Distinguished Lectureship Research Award, and the Philip Levine Award for Outstanding Research.

Liotta and Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine Co-director Emanuel F. Petricoin III, who are internationally recognized for their pioneering research in proteomics and molecular medicine, co-founded the George Mason University Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine in 2005. They currently are exploring their recent discovery of an archive of protein fragments in the blood that are biomarker candidates for breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Their immediate goals are to validate these potential biomarkers in clinical trials to determine their feasibility in the diagnosis of cancer prior to metastasis, and to analyze molecular pathways in diseased tissue to determine individualized and targeted treatments for patients. The team also is investigating the development and use of nanotechnology to synergize with proteomic tools for new types of biosensors, nanoparticles for biomarker discovery, and nanoelectronics. Liotta and Petricoin have more than 20 patents pending in the areas of cancer theranostics, biomarkers, and related technologies.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Joseph J. Pancrazio

Director, Bioengineering Program and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Expertise: Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, Biosensors, Neural Interface Technologies, Health Care Technology, Environmental Threat Detection, Neural Engineering

Joseph J. Pancrazio is director of Mason’s new Bioengineering Program and a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering. Prior to joining Mason, he served as the program director for neural engineering at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke within the National Institutes of Health. He also was the head of the United States Naval Research Laboratory’s Laboratory for Biomolecular Dynamics where he led an environmental threat detection research team. He has also worked as an assistant professor of research in the University of Virginia’s Departments of Anesthesiology and Biomedical Engineering and as an assistant professor of molecular and microbiology at Georgetown University. Pancrazio has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and review papers, and holds two patents. He holds both master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Pancrazio’s research interests include neural interface technologies, biosensors, and neuropharmacological assay development.

 

To view a video of him discussing how technology is revolutioning health care, visit http://mediablog.gmu.edu/2010/08/how-is-technology-revolutionizing-health-care/.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Yuntao Wu

Professor, Molecular and Microbiology

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Expertise: AIDS, HIV, Virology, Infectious Diseases

Wu, assistant professor in the College of Science’s Molecular and Microbiology Department, has spent the last six years decoding the molecular processes of the AIDS virus. AIDS, a devastating disease that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), affected more than 33 million people worldwide in 2007, according to World Health Organization statistics. A widely published researcher whose work has appeared in prestigious scientific journals such as Science, Journal of Virology, Virology, Retrovirology and Current HIV Research, Wu believes that a solution to the AIDS epidemic is possible. The 2009 NYCDC AIDS Ride (http://nycdc.org), which takes place in September, will support the next stage of Dr. Wu's research which has the potential to stop the HIV virus from becoming AIDS. Wu earned a doctorate in virology in 1998 from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, after spending four years studying the DNA replication of the baculovirus family — a group of viruses that are fatal to insects and are often used for nonchemical pest control. He subsequently served for four years as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he began examining HIV infection in humans prior to joining Mason’s faculty in 2003. Wu has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the 2007 "Tomorrow's PIs" by Genome Technology Magazine, the 2006 Siemens Mentor Award by the Siemens Foundation, and the 2003 NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence by NIH. His research interests include HIV infection of resting CD4 T cells and lentiviral vector development for targeting HIV infection.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu