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Ditlev Birch

Ditlev Birch

Ph.d. stipendiat

Project background

My area of interest covers delivery of macromolecules with an emphasis on protein based therapeutics. Protein-based therapeutics is typically associated with high potency at the cost of poor stability and –permeability. One way to increase the bioavailability of proteins is the use of cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) as carriers for the protein therapeutic.

CPPs are small peptides (> 40 amino acids) which are able to translocate across cell membranes and to deliver a payload (e.g. a protein therapeutic) to an intracellular- or transcellular target. The mechanism, while poorly understood, is generally accepted to involve endocytosis and/or direct translocation (passive diffusion).

My research revolves around elucidating factors which affects the translocation- and delivery propensity of CPPs, with the commonly encountered CPP penetratin being used as a model compound. In particular, I am interested in investigating therapeutic windows for both isoforms of penetratin (i.e. all-L-penetratin and all-D-penetratin), and correlate this to the ability to deliver a cargo to the intracellular lumen of cells.

In order to accomplish this, I utilize immortal cell culture models from a variety of tissues (e.g. breastcancer, coloncancer, lungcancer) combined with advanced microscopic- and analytical methods to asses which peptide would be favorable to bring into clinical research.

ID: 131260007