"What's Eating You?": Quantifying Proteolytic Activity in Health and Disease to Predict Disease Potential
Associate Professor, Diversity Director, STC on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS), GRA Distinguished Scholar
Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University
January 18, 2018
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room
Patient-to-patient variability in disease progression continues to complicate clinical decisions in diagnosis and treatment. We focused on individual variability in production of cysteine cathepsins, powerful proteases that are the most potent mammalian collagenases and elastases and are upregulated during tissue-destructive disease progression. We study them in the context of tissue remodeling during arterial remodeling, specifically in the vasculature of children with sickle cell disease that have high risks for strokes early in life, and in cancer progression/metastasis. During this seminar, Dr. Platt will discuss 1) experimental and computational tools he has developed to better quantify and model the proteolytic network’s role in disease progression, 2) fundamental insights and consequences of proteolytic network perturbation on extracellular matrix remodeling, and 3) applications in the for personalized medicine strategies to address patient variability in disease progression, while identifying new targets for pharmacological targeting.
Dr. Manu Platt received his B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College in 2001 and his Ph.D. from the Georgia Tech and Emory joint program in biomedical engineering in 2006. He finished his postdoctoral training at MIT in orthopedic tissue engineering and systems biology prior to returning to Georgia Tech and Emory in the joint department of Biomedical Engineering in January 2009, where he has since been promoted and tenured. His research centers on proteolytic mechanisms of tissue remodeling during disease progression using both experimental and computational approaches. These diseases of focus are health disparities in the U.S., but global health concerns: pediatric strokes in sickle cell disease, personalized and predictive medicine for breast cancer, and HIV-mediated cardiovascular disease, which has taken him to South Africa and Ethiopia for collaborative work to find solutions for low resource settings. His work has been funded by NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, International AIDS Society, Georgia Cancer Coalition, and the National Science Foundation. He is also the Diversity Director for the NSF Science and Technology Center for Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS). Awards for mentoring and outreach have included the Georgia Tech Diversity Champion award, Junior Faculty Above and Beyond Award, and the Junior Faculty Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from Georgia Tech. He was recently named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine in 2015, Atlanta 40 under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2016, and the Biomedical Engineering Society Diversity Award in 2017.