SUNY Poly Professor Honored with Fulbright Global Scholar Fellowship
As part of award, Dr. Susan Sharfstein to conduct cutting-edge nano-bioscience research focused on therapeutic proteins with researchers in Ireland and Australia, in addition to presenting lectures and highlighting SUNY Poly’s educational opportunities
ALBANY, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced today that Associate Professor of Nanobioscience Dr. Susan Sharfstein has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright award to work collaboratively on next-generation biopharmaceutical research with counterparts in Dublin, Ireland, at Dublin City University (DCU) and in Brisbane, Australia, at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland.
“I congratulate Dr. Sharfstein on being selected for this Fulbright award, which is a powerful reflection of the innovative research being conducted at SUNY Poly by her, fellow faculty, students, and staff,” said Dr. Bahgat Sammakia, SUNY Poly Interim President. “Dr. Sharfstein’s research has exciting potential to move biopharmaceutical-focused research forward, and collaborating with others around the world will only strengthen SUNY Poly’s impact and continued reach.”
“This is a great example of the quality of research that is conducted by our faculty members, and I warmly congratulate Dr. Sharfstein on her achieving this opportunity to further collaborate and advance her research,” said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly Provost. “We are also looking forward to the insight that Dr. Sharfstein will return to SUNY Poly with that could lead to even better approaches to teaching our students and providing them with a truly world-class experience.”
As part of the award, Dr. Sharfstein plans to collaborate with the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) at Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland for the fall 2017 semester, followed by the spring semester of 2018 at the AIBN at the University of Queensland in Australia. Working with researchers at both institutions, Dr. Sharfstein’s research will focus on improving the production of cultured mammalian cells for the creation of therapeutic proteins by working to identify protein candidates for cellular engineering to improve their productivity, as well as high productivity cell line characteristics. Additionally, the research will aim to determine why some therapeutic proteins are easier to express than others. By finding the answers to these questions, biopharmaceuticals, which are therapeutic compounds produced by living systems and represent 25% of all new drug approvals, can better address diseases and be more cost effective.
In addition to the collaborative lab-based research, Dr. Sharfstein also plans to provide a short academic course at the host institutions and guest lectures to other academic institutions and industrial collaborators throughout Ireland and Queensland. Complementing her experience, Dr. Sharfstein expects to mentor a number of graduate students in Ireland and Australia who can learn more about and potentially pursue further educational opportunities at SUNY Poly’s world-class Albany NanoTech Complex, where advanced laboratories enable cutting-edge nano-bioscience research in areas ranging from biopharmaceutical development to the evaluation of cell signaling and its impact on cancer development.
“We are honored to have Dr. Sharfstein as one of our faculty members, whose research holds much potential for improving the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of certain biopharmaceuticals,” said Dr. Alain Diebold, Interim Dean of SUNY Poly’s College Nanoscale Science; Empire Innovation Professor of Nanoscale Science. “The Fulbright Award will not only enable Dr. Sharfstein to collaborate with other leading researchers around the world, it could also lead to new approaches to her research, resulting in even greater lab-based experiences for students in the future.”
“I am proud to congratulate Dr. Sharfstein on her innovative SUNY Poly-based research that is being recognized for its ability to improve biopharmaceutical production,” said Dr. Jim Castracane, SUNY Poly Professor and Head of the Nanobioscience Constellation. “The Fulbright award is not only an acknowledgment of Dr. Sharfstein’s research potential but a way to also encourage collaboration with other leaders in this field from across the world in ways that could serve to further improve SUNY Poly’s educational offerings and share the leading-edge work that is currently being undertaken here.”
“I am honored to have been selected for this Fulbright award which will enable unique opportunities to collaborate with these institutions that have incredible relevance to my research interests, particularly in proteomics and development of bispecific antibodies. Moreover, their training programs in biotechnology and mammalian cell bioprocessing relate directly to initiatives at SUNY Poly,” said Dr. Sharfstein. “By observing and comparing their training programs, in addition to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students from different backgrounds, this award will also allow me to bring expertise back to SUNY Poly with the goal of developing a training program in nano-biomanufacturing to complement the world-class research already being conducted at the institution. ”
Dr. Sharfstein recently authored several papers related to the characterization of high productivity cell lines, work that now forms the basis of the research that she plans to conduct in Ireland. Similarly, she has recently published research articles related to the impact of temperature on the expression of cell lines and how to better produce more efficient cell lines with UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, which underpins the work she will undertake in partnership with researchers in Australia.
Supporting the late Senator J. William Fulbright’s goal of developing international understanding through open communication and cooperative partnerships, Dr. Sharfstein’s selection will enable her to join the ranks of distinguished participants in the program who have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They include 58 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 31 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 370,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.
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