Alex Piotrowski-Daspit Receives PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant

This award, given by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, will help fund research in drug delivery.

Congratulations to Alex Piotrowski-Daspit, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, on receiving a PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Drug Delivery. This award, given by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, provides $100,000 for one year to support research that will focus on one of four areas: drug discovery, translational medicine, value assessment and health outcomes, or drug delivery. Dr. Piotrowski-Daspit’s grant will help fund her research in drug delivery.

“I’m really grateful for this, especially as an early career scientist,” she said. “In addition to the financial support, it’s great to have access to the broader community of past award recipients and researchers, so my team has an opportunity to connect with others and exchange ideas. It’s also uplifting to receive recognition for our work.”

This grant will support Dr. Piotrowski-Daspit’s work on polymer nanoparticles and the ability of these vehicles to deliver targeted therapeutics to the lungs. “These nanoparticles are designed to deliver genetic therapies to disease-relevant organs in the body,” she said. “We study where nanomedicines travel in vivo and how we can further enhance their ability to reach specific cells and tissue types. This particular project will focus on the conjugation of targeting moieties, such as antibodies and nanobodies, to the surface of our nanoparticles. As we work to develop this technology, it will eventually have more downstream applications for myriad diseases. To be able to focus on this very key piece now, though, is significant because it will be a foundational technology for my new lab.”