Kevin P. Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
A number of post-translational modifications to proteins, including phosphorylation, glycosylation and lipid additions, have been identified. These modifications may have structural, functional and localization roles and can affect the immunogenicity and pharmacokinetic properties of the protein. A number of novel modifications including palmitoylation and fucosylation have also been identified in proteins produced in recombinant systems. My research interests include using mass spectrometry to identify and understand whether such changes are simply a consequence of the recombinant expression system used or may also occur in the natural state.
Protein Stability and Formulation
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have emerged as significant therapeutic molecules in the biopharmaceutical industry. To achieve the desired therapeutic affect it is often necessary to deliver large amounts of a mAb to a patient. However, in many cases administration to a patient is limited by the volume that can be given by subcutaneous injection. Therefore, there is a significant need to produce and formulate mAbs at high concentration to produce a stable product. We are investigating and developing novel formulations for generating high concentrations of monoclonal antibodies.
Identifying Novel Cancer Therapeutics
The hedgehog (Hh) pathway has a central role in the growth of a vast array of cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma, small cell lung, gastric, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Aberrant activation of the Hh pathway is caused by either mutation in the pathway or through Hh over-expression. A role for the hedgehog pathway in other cancers including breast cancer has been less well studied. Our research focuses on hedgehog pathway activation in breast cancer sub types and characterizing potential drug targets in the pathway.