Utilizing Albumin, the Body’s Own Transport Protein for Drug Delivery and Disease Targeting Purposes

PhD defence, Thursday 28 June 2018, Maja Thim Larsen.

2018.06.28 | Trine Berndt Turtiainen Scheelke

Maja Thim Larsen

For successful treatment of diseases, medicine travels through the body and elicit the desired therapeutic effect at the intended target site. Yet, drug delivery challenges exist such as degradation, rapid clearance and non-specific accumulation that can cause side-effects and requires frequent dosing; ultimately reducing the life quality of patients. Therefore, new and improved drug delivery technologies are needed. The PhD project of Maja Thim Larsen was based on albumin, a natural blood transport protein, as an alternative drug delivery candidate due to its non-immunogenicity and inherent ideal biochemical characteristics. During her studies, Maja has used a range of different engineered albumin fusions and albumin variants designed to exhibit varying engagement with the cellular albumin recycling receptor, the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), to study half-life extension and disease targeting capabilities. The new research findings present direct correlation between the FcRn-driven cellular recycling mechanism and in vivo circulation time for engineered albumin fusions. In addition, the project contributes to the currently underexplored field of understanding the role of FcRn in disease and recruitment of engineered albumin variants in murine disease models. The findings further support and promotes albumin-based therapeutics.

The PhD work was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday 28 June 2018 at 13.15
Place: 1593-012, the Lecture Theatre, iNANO House, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C
Title of PhD thesis: Albumin half-life extension and disease targeting facilitated by tuned engagement with the neonatal Fc receptor
Contact information: Maja Thim Larsen, e-mail: maja.thim.larsen@inano.au.dk, tel.: +45 42413669
Members of the assessment committee:
Associate Professor Peter Kristensen, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, DK
Associate Professor Jan Terje Andersen, The Laboratory of adaptive immunity and homeostasis, Oslo University, Norway
Senior Researcher Morten Foss, iNANO and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, DK (chair)
Main supervisor:
Associate Professor Kenneth Alan Howard, iNANO and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Associate Professor Magnus Stougaard, iNANO and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST,
Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
Comments on content: 
Revised 29.06.2018