PEGS-The Chain Episode 23



There are some proteins that still evade scientists in the race for better therapeutics. Some of the most elusive drug targets in cancer research are RAS oncoproteins. In a paper published this July, researchers demonstrated the delivery of an extremely potent pan-RAS-cleaving enzyme, opening the door for the first targeted pan-RAS inhibitor for cancer therapy. In this episode we speak with two of the researchers from this project, a cancer biologist and a protein engineer, to learn what sparked their collaboration and what their system means for the future of cancer biologics.




Greg Beilhartz, PhD, Senior Research Associate, The Hospital for Sick Children

Greg completed his PhD at McGill University working on drug development and resistance in HIV. He then completed a post-doc in Roman Melnyk’s lab at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he helped to develop a platform to deliver proteins into cells using bacterial toxins. He continues to develop novel biologic therapeutics using toxins as a cell-targeting and membrane-crossing apparatus, including the RAS-inactivating enzyme RRSP and others.

Vania Vidimar, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, Satchell Lab, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Vania Vidimar is a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Karla Satchell’s lab in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Northwestern University. She obtained her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Strasbourg (France) and the University of Padua (Italy) in 2012, studying metal-based drugs for anticancer therapy. In 2013, she joined Dr. Julie Kim’s lab in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University where she studied the pathophysiology of uterine leiomyomas and their in vitro modeling for drug discovery purposes. Since 2017, she joined the Satchell’s Lab at Northwestern University where she has been working on therapeutically targeting RAS oncoproteins with a bacterial-derived chimeric toxin, named RRSP-DTB, developed in collaboration with Dr. Roman Melnyk’s team.

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