September 28

NSF Awards $3 Million Grant to Vanderbilt to Advance Large-Scale Biomanufacturing

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BioP2P Staff

The National Science Foundation awarded a $3 million grant to a team of Vanderbilt University engineers, biologists and education specialists to advance large-scale biomanufacturing of cell-derived nanoparticles that can deliver precisely targeted drugs to the site of a disease.

“Biomanufacturing is a growing but critical field that is reshaping how we diagnose and treat some of the most devastating diseases known to humanity,” said Jamey Young, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt and principal investigator on the four-year grant. “Vanderbilt is uniquely well-suited to help advance the future of biomanufacturing, given our deep expertise in molecular and nano-engineering, cellular biology and medicine, and education methodologies.”

The grant is part of the NSF’s Future Manufacturing program that is designed to support fundamental research, as well as education and workforce training, to spur novel manufacturing technologies and processes.

Much of the group’s work focuses on the development and large-scale production of extracellular vesicles, particles that are secreted by cells and capable of delivering highly precise therapeutic payloads—materials such as proteins, nucleic acids and metabolites—to cellular targets. In addition to designing extracellular vesicles with tunable properties and drug payloads, the group also seeks to develop technologies for scalable manufacturing of “designer EVs” that can be produced cost-efficiently in large quantities from virtually any cell type.

In parallel with their research efforts, the team will seek to create high-school and college learning modules to equip a broad spectrum of learners in advanced biomanufacturing techniques.

Read the full release here.


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