Renata Pasqualini, Chief Scientific Officer, Phage Nova Bio, Inc.
Chief of Cancer Biology at Rutgers University, co-founder & CSO of PhageNova Bio. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from USP/ Ludwig Institute and did her postdoctoral training Harvard and the Burnham Institute. She established a joint laboratory with Wadih Arap, MD, PhD, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, now active at both Rutgers and PhageNova (Celgene Campus). She is an internationally recognized expert in vascular biology, metastasis, and angiogenesis and originally co-developed the in vivo phage display system to identify organ- and tumor-specific ligands to target vascular receptors. The central hypothesis behind the Arap/Pasqualini program is that differential protein expression associated with normal or diseased tissues offers the potential for developing novel diagnostic, imaging, and therapeutic strategies. Combinatorial library selections are used (peptide- and antibody-based) to discover, validate, and exploit the biochemical diversity of cell surfaces. Two first-in-human studie have already been completed, successfully meeting its biological end points. Other leads are in pre-IND stage, including ligand-directed phage gene delivery vector; several others are in pre-clinical phase. The broader vision of our research is a large-scale mapping of receptors in human vasculature towards a new ligand-directed pharmacology.