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Appalachian Student Research Forum

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Keynote Speaker

 2014 Keynote Speaker

 Dr. Henry Daniell

  Professor and Director of Translational Research 
Department of Biochemistry and Pathology
School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

 Dr. Henry Daniell is the Professor and Director of Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. He is the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Italian National Academy of Sciences, 14th American to be inducted in the past 230 years (Ben Franklin is the first inducted American). He is the Editor in Chief of the Plant Biotechnology Journal, Oxford, UK.  Dr. Daniell is also recipient of the American Diabetes Association Award, Bayer Hemophilia global award and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award for his scientific contributions.

Dr. Daniell is recognized for pioneering chloroplast genetic engineering as a new platform to produce and orally deliver low cost vaccines and biopharmaceuticals bioencapsulated in plant cells. His invention was ranked by Nature Biotechnology among the top ten inventions of the past decade and among Biomed Central's Hot 100 authors in the world. He has more than forty patents awarded globally and 150 published papers. 

Dr. Daniell's articles and patents have been cited in Google Scholar over 12,000 times. His research is currently funded by several agencies including the NIH, USDA, DOE, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bayer, American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations, several NIH or National Academy of Science panels. His research has been featured often in the public press including Discovery Channel, Voice of America, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, several other global networks, Paul Harvey, Jay Leno, New York Times and Scientific American.  For more details visit

 Dr. Henry Daniell

Keynote Address Abstract

 Low Cost Green Oral Vaccines Confer Protection Against Infectious and Inherited Diseases 

The high cost of current vaccines and biopharmaceuticals is largely due to their complex production and delivery methods, including the significant costs of fermentation and purification systems and additional expenses associated with cold storage, transportation and sterile delivery.  Therefore, I pioneered and advanced the concept of expressing foreign genes in chloroplasts with major emphasis on oral delivery of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals.

In an emerging new concept, freeze-dried plant cells (lettuce) expressing biopharmaceuticals (fused with transmucosal carriers) are protected in the stomach from acids/enzymes but are released to the circulatory system when plant cell walls are digested by microbes that colonize the gut. Therapeutic proteins in lyophilized plant cells (in capsules) are stable >15 months at room temperature and maintain their folding, disulfide bonds, assembly and functionality, in addition to increasing the antigen concentration up to 25-fold and eliminating microbes in harvested leaf materials.

Oral delivery of bioencapsulated human autoantigens (proinsulin, GAD, blood clotting factors VIII, IX) is effective in preventing the onset of type 1diabetes and in preventing immunological complications of hemophilia, by developing tolerance. Oral delivery of exendin-4 expressed in plant cells regulated blood glucose levels in mice similar to injections by stimulating insulin secretion.  Oral delivery of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) or angiotensin-(1-7) attenuated pulmonary hypertension and associated cardiac dysfunction.  Amyloid plaques are reduced in vivo by 70% in hippocampus and cortex brain regions when fed with myelin basic protein and reduced A42 accumulation in retinae and prevented loss of retinal ganglion cells in 3xTg Alzheimer's disease mice.  Oral boosters conferred greater protection than injections against challenge with viral, bacterial or protozoan pathogens.   Therefore, this new platform offers a low cost alternative to deliver human therapeutic proteins to combat inherited or infectious diseases, by eliminating expensive purification, cold storage/transportation and sterile injections.

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