Bringing PCOM Research to MarketNovember 5, 2015
Marina D’Angelo, PhD (right), a PCOM professor, is currently
exploring safer treatments of osteoarthritis.
Several faculty members in the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences had the opportunity
to showcase their research at the Pennsylvania Bio Life Sciences Future conference
in October. The event is a gathering of medical companies, academic institutions,
service industries and investment organizations that support the life sciences in
Pennsylvania. The goal of this annual conference is to link scientists, entrepreneurs,
funding, programs and policy makers to create therapeutics, policies and jobs that
significantly impact human health.
Brian Balin, PhD, professor and chair, bio-medical sciences, presented a project through
which he and colleagues are attempting to create a diagnostic tool for those at risk
of Alzheimer’s. In previous studies, Dr. Balin’s group found a link between Alzheimer’s
and the respiratory infection Chlamydia pneumoniae. Now, they are examining biomarkers of infection including the detection of antibodies
against this infection in the blood of those at greatest risk for Alzheimer’s. In
doing so, Dr. Balin and his colleagues hope to create a diagnostic tool that can be
used to detect the disease well before symptoms occur—which, for most patients, is
often too late for any current treatment to be effective.
Marina D’Angelo, PhD, professor, bio-medical sciences, is currently exploring safer
treatments of osteoarthritis. Currently, the only therapeutic available are nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); however, long term use of these can lead to several
health complications, including issues related to the GI tract and kidneys; high blood
pressure; heart attack and stroke. Dr. D’Angelo and her colleagues have patented a
new treatment which has been shown in pilot studies to be effective in slowing the
progression of the disease without many of the long-term side effects of NSAIDs. She
currently is testing this therapeutic on the canine population but hopes to bring
it to market for humans. In addition, she and colleagues are testing another therapeutic
in their platform of products that prolongs the life of dental restorations. Preliminary
research has shown that the therapeutic, when applied during dental to a restoration,
helps maintain the bonding beyond a year.
Heather Montie, PhD, assistant professor, bio-medical sciences, has been studying
a modification to the androgen receptor—which binds androgens like testosterone—to
determine how manipulating that modification can stop the growth of tumors in patients
with prostate cancer, even when surgery and treatment regimens to inhibit the androgen
receptor have been unsuccessful. Androgen receptor function is responsible for the
viability of tumors in those with prostate cancer, and by better understanding how
to block the androgen receptor, Dr. Montie hopes to create an effective therapeutic
that can stop or slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors in men.
Lindon Young, PhD, professor, bio-medical sciences, is studying injuries to organs
and tissues that occur after blood flow is restored to that area after a prolonged
period of time without blood flow, usually after a heart attack or organ transplant.
There is currently no therapeutic available to lessen the damage caused by these events,
which occurs from a buildup of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the blood. Dr. Young
and his colleagues are looking at regulating mechanisms related to that ROS buildup,
to determine whether inhibiting ROS would lessen the damage and ultimately create
a therapeutic to treat those injuries.
“Participating in the Life Sciences Future conference enables us as researchers to
develop partnerships with individuals and institutions through which we can expand
on our research, and hopefully create solutions to some of the most chronic diseases
that affect our health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Balin.
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact:
Associate Director, News and Media Relations
Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: