Jessie L.-S. Au, Ph.D.
I am a pharmaceutical scientist with strong interests in teaching as well as product development.
My first academic position was at The Ohio State University where I was a distinguished university professor and trained 36 Ph.D. and 5 M.Sc. in pharmaceutical sciences. This experience has led to my opinion that a new, cross-fertilization approach is needed to train drug development scientists who can translate the explosive growth in biomedical scientific knowledge into efficacious and cost-efficiently treatments. This, in turn, requires bringing professors in diverse disciplines (biological, physical, computational sciences) to share the training of graduate students so that the future scientists will have the unique combination of expertise that has proven elusive thus far, in part due to the silo structures in academic programs. I left my tenured professor position in 2013, became non-tenured professors at several universities, and joined Optimum Therapeutics LLC as its Chief Scientific Officer. This arrangement, albeit unorthodox, has provided the opportunity to pioneer this new educational approach and to develop a graduate program to focus on overcoming the deficiencies in preclinical-to-clinical translation. Since Fall 2015, I accepted endowed professorships at two university (part-time basis). In 2016, I founded Institute of Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (IQSP), a nonprofit organization with the goal of stimulating and facilitating inter-institutional collaborations. I initiated the QSP program at University of Oklahoma (OUHSC) in Fall 2015 and at Taipei Medical University (TMU) in 2016. The OUHSC program has since enrolled 7 predoctoral and 3 post-doctoral students. TMU hired a new tenure-track faculty (Dr. Chien-Ming Hsieh) who worked with me at IQSP from August to September, 2017. Professor Hsieh and I are co-chairing a QSP symposium at TMU in April 2018; the purpose is to introduce the concept of QSP and the new FDA requirements on using modeling-based approaches to assist and facilitate drug development efforts in Taiwan.
My two research goals are to develop new concepts in translational research and to develop effective treatments. I have developed a new standard-of-care for non-muscle invading bladder cancer, and am working on bringing two NIH-supported discoveries to the market. Over the last 10 years I have extended my work in drug delivery systems to other diseases. An example is the current project, in which we propose to use nanotechnology as a physicochemical means to lower the elevated blood apoB level caused by aging-related disruptions of cholesterol metabolism and lipoprotein homeostasis that are linked to two major aging-related diseases in the US (age-related macular degeneration, cardiovascular diseases).
Publications & Presentations
- Jaiprasart P, Yeung B Z, Lu Z, Wientjes M G, Cui M, Hsieh C, Woo S, Au J. Quantitative contributions of processes by which polyanion drugs reduce intracellular bioavailability and transfection efficiency of cationic siRNA lipoplex. Journal of Controlled Release. 2018; 270 : 101-113
- Wang J, Yeung B Z, Cui M, Peer C J, Lu Z, Figg W D, Wientjes W G, Woo S, Au J. Exosomes is a mechanism of intercellular drug transfer. Journal of Controlled Release. 2017; 268 : 147-158
- Au J, Yeung B Z, Wientjes M G, Lu Z, Wientjes M G. Delivery of cancer therapeutics to extracellular and intracellular targets: Determinants, barriers, challenges and opportunities. Advanced drug delivery reviews. 2015
- Yeung B Z, Lu Z, Wientjes G M, Au J. High Sensitivity RT-qPCR Assay of Nonlabeled siRNA in Small Blood Volume for Pharmacokinetic Studies: Application to Survivin siRNA. The AAPS journal. 2015; 17 : 1475-82
- Wang J, Lu Z, Wang J, Cui M, Yeung B Z, Cole D J, Wientjes M G, Au J. Paclitaxel tumor priming promotes delivery and transfection of intravenous lipid-siRNA in pancreatic tumors. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2015; 216 : 103-10