November 19, 2015
Johnson Lecture, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
“Frontiers of Biomedical Materials”
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
The science of polymeric biomedical materials has moved from copying/mimicking nature’s design to modifying it and designing bioactive materials. The level of our understanding of the relationship between structure and properties has reached levels needed for the design of new materials different from those in nature. The latter approach has the highest potential for scientific and application breakthroughs in the near future. Based on this outline, the evolution of biomedical materials will be discussed, including degradable water-soluble polymer conjugates with anticancer drugs and proteins, self-assembly of hybrid block and graft copolymers, and the creation of a new paradigm in nanomedicine –drug-free macromolecular therapeutics.
Professor Kopeček received his Ph.D. in Macromolecular Chemistry from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC) and D.Sc. in Chemistry from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic. His postdoctoral studies were done at the National Research Council of Canada. Before joining the University of Utah in 1986, he served as Principal Investigator and Laboratory Head at the IMC (1972–1988). He is currently Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering and Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah. Kopeček’s research interests are focused on biorecognition of macromolecules, bioconjugate chemistry, drug delivery systems, and self-assembled biomaterials. Hydrogels from his laboratory have been in clinical use and HPMA copolymer – anticancer drug conjugates in clinical trials. Kopeček’s Hirsch index is 66 (publications since 1975); his publications have been cited over 14,500 times.