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New professor of Biotherapeutics Delivery at LACDR

Matthias Barz has been appointed full Professor of Biotherapeutics Delivery at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR).

Matthias Barz has been developing polymer-based nanoparticles based on endogenous amino acids for diagnosis and therapy, therefore the move to LACDR was a natural next step on his career path to foster the application of such systems.

Body-own material

'Leiden and LACDR are an exciting place to work since world-class scientists are working hand in hand to address current medical needs. We can contribute our knowledge on drug delivery systems and diagnostic tools to the on-going research at LACDR. The general aim of our research is to provide efficient systems for delivery of biotherapeutics based on body-own material,' says Barz.

The scope of developing nanomedicines is such that solving them requires wide-ranging multidisciplinary expertise and entirely novel approaches. 'The goal of my group here at LACDR is to contribute to the development of novel therapies by providing efficient delivery systems for nucleic acids, peptides or proteins and low molecular weight drugs. We hope that our new materials can help to improve current treatment strategies or enable new therapies.'

Emerging investigator of polymer based nanomedicines

Barz' background is in polymer chemistry and organic chemistry. He studied chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany) and Seoul National University (South Korea), and received a PhD in polymer chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany) in 2009. After finishing his PhD he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Maria J. Vicent (CIPF, Valencia, Spain) and Prof. T. Kirchhausen (Boston Children’s Hospital, HMS). In 2013 he started his own lab back in Mainz and started his habilitation, which he finished at the end of 2016. In 2020 he joined Leiden University as Full Professor for Biotherapeutic Delivery within LACDR.

Up to now, Barz has published more than 100 research papers, commentaries, reviews, book chapters and patents. For his independent research, he received numerous awards, including the highly prestigious Chemiedozentenpreis (German Industry Funds FCI, VCI), the Dr. Hermann-Schnell-Scholarship of the German Chemical Society (GDCh, Division of Macromolecular Chemistry) and was named ACS PMSE Young Investigator in 2018.

Professor Matthias Barz started the position of Professor of Biotherapeutic Delivery in spring 2020 and is currently relocating his group from Mainz to Leiden.

Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a centre of excellence for multidisciplinary research on drug discovery and development. LACDR develops innovative scientific concepts in fundamental and translational research underlying the discovery and optimization of drugs, and personalized medicines. It aims to optimise the route to novel drugs that are both efficacious and safe, and therefore its research focuses on drug and target discovery, bio-therapeutics and systems pharmacology. State-of-the-art expertise and infrastructures ensure that LACDR is strategically positioned in (inter)national collaborations, thus further strengthening the development of novel concepts and their application in a clinical and industry environment. Its research is formed into three research divisions: Drug & Target Discovery, BioTherapeutics, and Systems Pharmacology. LACDR is also involved in the Pharmacy Master's programme. It has established close collaborations within the Faculty of Science (Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Biology Leiden), the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) and the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR).

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