Kewaunee Lecture: Discovery, Preclinical and Clinical Development of Therapeutic for Cancer Treatment

Thursday, March 8, 2018

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium

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George Georgiou, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Genetics and Biology, University of Texas, Austin


Kewaunee Poster Session

12:00pm – Fitzpatrick Center Pre-Function Area

Kewaunee Lecture

3:30pm - Schiciano Auditorium

Achievement and Poster Awards

4:30pm - Schiciano Auditorium

Kewaunee Reception

5:00pm - Fitzpatrick Center Atrium


A main focus of our laboratory is centered on the engineering of therapeutic enzymes and antibodies.  We have pioneered the engineering of human therapeutic enzymes capable of degrading specific amino acids related to disease pathology, studies that had led to one protein therapeutic that is currently being evaluated in 3 Phase I clinical trials and two preclinical stage therapeutics that will enter human trials in 2018.  In one notable example, which will be discussed in some detail we have created a human enzyme that effectively degrades Kynurenine, a tryptophan oxidation product that has very potent immune-suppressive effects.   We have shown that administration of this engineered enzyme activates the immune system, and specifically T cells, to attack and eradicate tumors in animal models of breast cancer, melanoma and colon carcinoma.   As part of this talk I will also discuss our program on the development of improved therapeutic antibodies that have been engineered for enhanced killing of target pathogenic cells and other properties that are critical for the pharmacology of antibody drugs. 


George Georgiou is the Laura Jennings-Turner Chair Professor at UT Austin where has a joint appointment in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Biosciences . His research is focused on: (i) the molecular level understanding of the serological antibody repertoire in human health and disease; (ii) on the discovery/preclinical development of protein therapeutics and (iii) engineering second generation therapeutic antibodies with enhanced Fc effector functions. 

Professor Georgiou was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (2005), National Academy of Medicine (2011) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2016).  He is the author of >240 publications and co-inventor of >110 issued and pending US patents, licensed to 27 pharma & biotech companies.  He founded GGMJD in 1999 (acquired by Maxygen in 2000), Aeglea Biotherapeutics in 2013 (NASDAQ:AGLE) and Kyn Therapeutics Inc. in 2016 and he serves as a Director in both Aeglea and Kyn.  He additionally serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of four public and private biotherapeutics companies. In 2013 Georgiou was selected as one of the top 20 Translational Researchers by Nature Biotechnology








King, Pamela