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Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology

Faculty Members in the Department of Immunotherapeutics and Biotechnology

Jon Weidanz, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Weidanz joined the SOP in 2000 and was a starting faculty member at the Abilene SOP in 2007.  He has over 20 years of experience in biotechnology research with emphasis in immunology, immunotherapy and immunodiagnostics, especially as these disciplines relate to oncology. In addition, Dr. Weidanz has published studies involving therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, vaccine potency assays, dendritic cells and T cells related to vaccine development and assessment of immune modulators.  His research is currently funded from the NIH and DOD.

Mark Lyte, Ph.D., M.S., MT (ASCP)
Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Lyte joined the SOP in 2005 and relocated this spring from the School of Pharmacy at Lubbock to Abilene. His research focuses on affecting growth rates and production of bacteria and is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lyte is considered a leader in the field of microbial endocrinology.

Magdelana Karbowniczek, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Karbowniczek joined the SOP in 2010 from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where she completed post-doctoral training. Her research focuses on the molecular pathways in cell biology cancer, investigating the triggers for cell fate. Her research is currently funded from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas.

Maciej Markiewski, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Markiewski joined the SOP in 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), where he served as senior research investigator in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. His research interests are in the biology of innate immunity, tumor immunology and tumor microenvironment.  His research on innate immunity and breast cancer is funded by the Department of Defense.

Ninh (Irene) La-Beck, Pharm.D.
Assistant Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. La-Beck came to the SOP in 2011 from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she completed a fellowship in oncology. Her research focuses on drug formulations using nanoparticles and their interaction with the immune system.

Laurence Wood, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Wood joined the SOP in 2012 from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), where he completed his post-doctoral training in cancer immunology and immunotherapy.  His research focuses on the ISG15 pathway and this pathways role in regulating immunity, tumorigenesis and tumor immunosuppression.

Pratip Mitra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, DIB, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Mitra will join the SOP in December 2013 from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  He has an academic appointment and will be the department's leader in developing educational scholarship.

Adjunct Assistant Professors

Oriana Hawkins, Ph.D.
Dr. Hawkins joined the SOP in September 2013 from Vanderbilt University as senior scientist and laboratory director for the Center for Immunotherapeutics Development.  Her expertise is in HLA biology and proteomics, monoclonal antibodies, cancer biology, inflammation and assay development.  Dr. Hawkins brings immunology, biotechnology and product development expertise to the department.

Devin Lowe, Ph.D.
Dr. Lowe joined the SOP in September 2013 from the University of Pittsburg as a senior scientist at the Center for Immunotherapeutics Development. His expertise is in tumor immunology and cancer vaccines.  Dr. Lowe brings immunology, biotechnology and testing of cancer vaccines in the clinic to the department.

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