William G. Pitt, Chemical Engineering Department
Summary of Scope of Proposal
This proposal was submitted in October of 2011 to organize and fund a mentoring group in the Pitt lab in Chemical Engineering. Marjan Javadi, then a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, and 5 uldergraduate students participated in this research group. The purpose was 2-‐fold, both scientific and pedagogical. On the scientific side, Marjan was working on her PhD research to develop a novel drug delivery system called an eLiposome that encapsulated a drug along with a nanoemulsion that turns from liquid to gas upon exposure to ultrasound. The ultrasound can be non-‐invasively (no surgery or insertion) focused through tissue to the site of a tumor or other diseased tissue to activate the delivery of a drug at that site. While Marjan had developed the fundamental chemistry of the new carrier, we wanted to explore applications, including delivery of paclitaxel (to treat breast cancer) and doxorubicin (to treat ovarian cancer), and to develop a new mode of triggering the drug release that uses near-‐infrared heating of gold nanorods instead of using ultrasound. Marjan was to lead the team in the development of these applications of her invention. On the pedagogical side, I was to mentor Marjan as to how to be a Professor soon in her career, and give her experience in mentoring undergrads and teaching them science and writing so as to practice being a professor. I feel that we succeeded on both aspects.
Marjan defended her PhD thesis (October 2013) and will graduate this month (December 2013) and has accepted a post-‐doc position at the University of Chicago in a lab doing novel drug delivery of paclitaxel, one of the drugs that she worked with in my lab. This is her next step in accomplishing her goal of being a professor in a university sometime soon.
During her time in my lab working on her dissertation research, she also held weekly sub-‐group meetings with undergraduate students (5 of them) in which she instructed them and obtained reports for the first 30 minutes, and then I instructed them for 30 minutes. She and I also worked in the lab with them. There was significant and successful mentoring happening at 2 levels.
Scientifically, 5 students successfully worked under her direct guidance and produced gold nanorods to be used in eLiposomes, and produced paclitaxel nanoparticles that she used in her PhD dissertation work. Marjan has published 3 papers[1-‐3] with 2 others in review preparation.[4,5] There are 3 undergraduate students listed as co-‐authors on her papers. She has made 10 conference presentations, with two others coming up in 2014. Her scientific contributions, in collaboration with the students, enhances BYU’s visibility to the scientific community and shows that our undergraduates at BYU do excellent research.
Evaluation of Academic Accomplishments
Marjan has been one of my most productive PhD students. I put her in charge of my nanoparticle synthesis lab, and she ran a clean and organized lab. There were 12 students working in her lab at various times, and she was always patient with them, and taught them to do good science. Those involved in this mentoring project are discussed below.
Marjan was extremely productive in the lab. She developed 2 new methods to make eLiposomes, one of which has been submitted as a patent. Table 1 shows her peer-‐reviewed publications. Undergrad students are indicated with a “*”. The journal Langmuir is the #1 surface science journal in the world, and very hard to publish in. The Journal of Controlled Release is the #2 journal in drug delivery, and is also very difficulty to publish in. Table 2 lists two papers that are in preparation or submitted, based on research done under this grant. Table 3 lists the conference presentations that Marjan has made since the award of this grant.
Table 1. Publications in peer reviewed journals since award
1. M. Javadi, W. G. Pitt, D. M. Belnap, N. H. Tsosie*, and J. M. Hartley (2012) “Encapsulating Emulsions Inside Liposomes for Drug Delivery,” Langmuir, 28, 14720-‐14729.
2. M. Javadi, W. G. Pitt, C. M. Tracy, J. R. Barrow, B. M. Willardson, J. M. Hartley, and N. H. Tsosie* (2013) “Ultrasonic Gene and Drug Delivery using eLiposomes,” J. Controlled Release, 167, 92-‐100.
3. C.-‐Y. Lin, M. Javadi, D. M. Belnap, J. Barrow, and W. G. Pitt (2013) “Ultrasound Sensitive eLiposomes Containing Doxorubicin for Drug Targeting Therapy,” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, in press.
Table 2. Publications for peer reviewed journals in preparation or submitted
1. M. Javadi, H. Bingham*, and W. G. Pitt (2013) “Pactlitaxel delivery to tumor cells using eLiposomes and ultrasound,” in preparation.
2. J. R. Lattin, M. Javadi, M. McRae*, and W. G. Pitt (2013) “Cytosolic Delivery via Ultrasonically Triggered Delivery to the Cytosol using Emulsion Droplets or eLiposomes,” J. Drug Targeting, submitted.
Table 3. Presentations based on work of this mentoring group
1. Javadi, M., and Pitt, W.G., “Novel Liposomes for Drug and DNA Delivery”, 1st International Symposium on Nanomedicine in Drug Delivery and Cancer Diagnosis, August 16-‐17, Newark, Delaware. (podium presentation)
2. Javadi, M., and Pitt, W.G., “Role of Folate in Delivery of eLiposomes”, Utah Biomedical Engineering Conference, September 8, 2012, Salt Lake City, UT. (podium presentation)
3. Javadi, M., Pitt*, W.G., Ultrasonic Delivery of Drugs Using Novel Drug Carriers, AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 14-‐18, 2012 Chicago, IL. Poster #2247.
4. Javadi, M., Pitt, W.G.*, Belnap, D.M., “eLiposomes: Novel Drug Delivery Vehicles”, AIChE Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 28-‐Nov 2, 2012, paper 232f (podium presentation).
5. Javadi, M., and Pitt, W.G., “Effect of folate on release of paclitaxel from eLiposomes”, NanoUtah 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 16, 2013, podium presentation T14.
6. Javadi, M., and Pitt, W.G., “Release of paclitaxel from eLiposomes”, AIChE Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 3-‐8, 2013, paper 335298 (podium presentation).
Evaluation of Mentoring Accomplishments
Because Marjan wanted to be a professor someday, I felt it very important for her to work with students, both as a teacher and a mentor in the lab. Marjan served as my teaching assistant twice, once before this mentorship and once at the end of the mentorship. I have been mentoring her continually before and during the ORCA grant. In addition to teaching her lab techniques, I focused on helping her to write, which is very challenging for foreign students. I taught her critical thinking and writing, and how to present her data and results in a technical paper. I also mentored her in presenting her data and results in oral presentations. I gave her the opportunity to present in several international conferences, some of which was funded by this mentoring grant. She turned into a very skilled writer and presenter, and she will continue to write throughout her career.
Marjan mentored 5 undergrad students in the lab. She taught them the techniques of making emulsions, liposomes and gold nanorods, and expected reports and results from them. One thing we did was to have the students keep a weekly log (online) of their results. She and I would read the results before each weekly meeting with the students. This gave the students a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. This was also useful in archiving the data. These 5 students are all seniors in chemical engineering this year. Four of them are going to graduate school, and one is taking a job in industry following her graduation in April. I feel that Marjan and I successfully mentored these students to become good writers and researchers, and that helped when they were applying for grad school and jobs following graduation.
Description of Results
The best summary of the description of results is in the research products, which are listed in Tables 1-‐3, and in the success of the mentored students in preparation for their scientific careers, listed in Table 4.
Table 4. Personal Results of Mentoring Activities
1. Marjan Javadi: Obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering in December 2013. She took a post-‐doc in Pharmacy at the University of Chicago, doing research on drug delivery of paclitaxel to breast cancer cells.
2. Benjamin Lindsay: He has applied to many graduate schools, including 5 ranked in the top 20 of the nation. I expect that he will be accepted by most of those schools.
3. Erika Handley: She has applied to many graduate schools, including 3 ranked in the top 20 of the nation. I expect that he will be accepted by all of those schools to which she applied.
4. Blake Southerland: He has applied to 4 graduate schools. I expect that he will be accepted by at least 2 of those schools.
5. Porter Hunt: Porter is still deciding between grad school in chemical engineering and medical school after he graduates.
6. Hilary Bingham: At this point, she has a job lined up with Praxair starting in May after she graduates in April 2014.
How the Budget was Spent
Table 5 below shows the distribution of funds to support Marjan Javadi (the PhD student), the 5 undergraduate students, travel for Marjan to present at conferences, and chemical supplies for the research project.
Table 5. Distribution of Budget (2012-‐2013)
1. Marjan Javadi, research assistant wages: $8,735.02
2. Undergraduate students, lab assistant wages: $4,010.35
3. Travel to conferences to present results: $1,650.96
4. Expenditures for lab supplies: $5,603.67
5. TOTAL: $20,000.00