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Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) / Lubricin as a treatment for dry eye disease: ocular surface lubrication and anti-inflammatory properties

Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) / Lubricin as a treatment for dry eye disease: ocular surface lubrication and anti-inflammatory properties

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HH 109

The goal of my program is to understand the fundamental mechanisms and properties of proteoglycan 4 (PRG4), also known as lubricin (a critical lubricating protein found throughout the human body), at relevant biointerfaces and biomaterials, and to apply that knowledge to the development of PRG4-containing biotherapeutics and biomaterials.

Overview

Abstract

Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4), also known as lubricin, is a mucin-like glycoprotein found throughout the body in various tissues and fluids, classically defined by its boundary lubricating properties yet recently discovered to also have anti-inflammatory properties. The overarching goal of the Schmidt lab is to understand the fundamental mechanisms and properties of PRG4 at relevant biointerfaces and biomaterials, and to apply that knowledge to the development of recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4)-containing biotherapeutics and biomaterials. To accomplish this biomechanical, biochemical, and biophysical methods are employed in collaboration with biologists, engineers, and clinicians.

Current work involves studying PRG4 in the context of a variety of diseases and organ systems, including cartilage and arthritis, bone and osteoporosis, breast cancer, wound healing, as well as the ocular surface and dry eye disease. This presentation will focus on work related to understanding PRG4’s role on the ocular surface and its potential utility as a biomarker for dry eye disease, as well as characterizing/developing novel rhPRG4-containing contact lens biomaterials and eye drops for the treatment of dry eye disease.

Biography

Tannin Schmidt is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Prior to joining UConn in 2017, Dr. Schmidt spent 9+ years at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Schulich School of Engineering where he was a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering – Biomaterials. He received his BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto , then his MS and PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California San Diego. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago prior to joining the University of Calgary. Dr. Schmidt’s interests lie in studying PRG4 at relevant biointerfaces and biomaterials, and to apply that knowledge to the development of PRG4-containing biotherapeutics and biomaterials. Dr. Schmidt has 107 publications and 17 issued US patents, and is a scientific co-founder of a clinical stage biotech company Lubris BioPharma developing rhPRG4 for the treatment of a variety of diseases. In 2017, Lubris out licensed their recombinant human PRG4 to Novartis for the treatment of dry eye disease.

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