Aaron Anselmo, Ph.D., has joined the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics as an assistant professor.
Anselmo comes from the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a postdoctoral fellow under adviser Robert Langer. Sc.D. Anselmo’s faculty appointment at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy includes both research and teaching duties.
Anselmo earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara under adviser Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D. His undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was also in chemical engineering. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, including Nature Nanotechnology, PNAS, Advanced Materials and ACS Nano.
Anselmo’s research focus is on leveraging pharmaceutical sciences, chemical engineering, materials science and biology to design next-generation cell therapies. Specifically, he will be studying microbiomes in the gastrointestinal tract.
The human body coexists with communities of microbes and bacteria called microbiota, and the balance of these microbes regulates both health and disease. In some cases, imbalances in microbiota have been linked to diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Anselmo’s research team will develop approaches and formulations to deliver specific compounds and microbes to modulate microbiota composition towards healthy states.
His other research interests include the development of cell-mediated delivery systems, synthetic cells and nanoparticle drug-delivery systems for applications in vascular disease and cancer.
Michael Jay, Ph.D., Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and chair of the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, said Anselmo’s appointment was based on his excellent academic pedigree having studied under two of the best-known scientists in nanomedicine. Additionally, Anselmo’s engineering background will strengthen the School’s pharmacoengineering efforts, and his research in microbiome-material interactions will be valuable because this is a growing area of interest in the pharmaceutical formulation field, Jay said.
Anselmo started at the School on July 31.