Dr. Brian Hoffmann receives Excellence in Science Award

Dec. 19, 2013 College News - Brian Hoffmann, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Andrew Greene’s Lab, received the 2013 Excellence in Science Award from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Office of Postdoctoral Education.

Dr. Hoffmann currently uses a combination of genomic, proteomic, and biological experimentation to examine how cells respond to various stimuli from drugs and their environment. His most recent publication examined the function of a type of stem cell produced in bone marrow.

These stem cells, known as endothelial progenitor cells, are capable of repairing damaged blood vessels and may hold potential for future therapies for patients with cardiovascular damage.

“Brian is a highly collaborative scientist who has contributed to a many important studies while in my lab,” said Andy Greene, PhD, Dr. Robert D. and Dr. Patricia E. Kern Professor in Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Director of the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center, who also is Dr. Hoffmann’s postdoctoral mentor. “I’m delighted his contributions have been recognized by this prestigious award.”

One culmination of Dr. Hoffmann’s  research was publication of an article examining the off-target protein binding of two of the most popular diabetes treatments, Actos and Avandia, which both effectively treat diabetes but have dangerous side-effects through unknown mechanisms. This project employed a new drug interaction testing method geared at developing safer pharmaceuticals and was in collaboration with Dr. Greene and Daniel Sem, PhD, a professor at Concordia University.

In addition to his research, Dr. Hoffmann has been involved in numerous initiatives throughout the MCW campus. He is a member of the Leadership Team for the Postdoctoral Industry Consulting Organization (PICO) at MCW and is one of the longest serving members. This group brings together MCW postdoctoral fellows and members of industry, allowing application of critical thinking skills to a variety of translational projects ranging from pharmaceutical advances to determining the return on investment for various products.

Dr. Hoffmann also believes in taking science into the community and plays a significant role in the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center’s Education Outreach Program. He is currently mentoring students in Kettle Moraine High School’s AP Biology classes on how to use research to bring together genetics, proteins, and systems to understand how disease can impact the body.

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