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Eric Shusta joins the Chemical Engineering faculty

Assistant Professor Eric Shusta

Assistant Professor Eric Shusta (23K JPG)

This fall we welcomed Eric V. Shusta back to the department as an assistant professor. Eric distinguished himself, both as an undergraduate in this department, graduating in 1994 with honors, and as a graduate student with Dane Wittrup at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received three prestigious fellowships. At Illinois, Eric took on a set of problems that involved using a yeast secretion system to optimize yields of properly folded recombinant proteins. Eric's thesis research produced seven publications, all in highly regarded journals. His work on increasing the secretion of antibodies from yeast, published in Nature Biotechnology, resulted in an antibody production system that is superior to the widely practiced bacterial methods. In collaborative work with biochemist D.M. Kranz at Illinois published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Eric also made rapid progress on a problem involving expression of the T cell receptor that had long been problematic for many laboratories in the field of immunology.

Through his graduate work, Eric acquired a broad array of skills, including the tools of yeast molecular genetics, directed evolution of proteins, and immunochemistry. Recognizing that intracellular trafficking can play a key role in delivery of protein therapeutics across endothelial layers including the blood-brain barrier, and wishing to bring his skills in protein engineering to bear on the problem of rationally designing protein pharmaceuticals with improved pharmacokinetics, Eric decided to equip himself with the tools needed for the quantitative analysis of vesicular transport. He arranged postdoctoral training in the lab of W.M. Pardridge at the UCLA Department of Medicine-Endocrinology, and applied for and received an NIH Training Fellowship. Through this work, he has laid important groundwork for his future research by advancing the genomics of the human brain microvasculature, and by developing a technique to identify proteins specific to the blood-brain barrier.


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Date last modified: Friday, 09-Nov-2001 11:00:00 CST
Date created: 08-Nov-2001 17:01:00