Arturo Vegas, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences

PhD, Harvard University
BA, Cornell University

The Vegas group pursues general and systematic approaches to developing targeted therapeutic carriers for the treatment of multiple human diseases. Small-molecule drugs excel at altering disease states at the cellular level, but their therapeutic benefits are often hindered by physiological barriers that impact their toxicity, efficacy, and distribution. The ability to overcome these barriers can make major differences in both the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic. Engineering-based approaches have successfully shown that formulation can overcome barriers associated with toxicity and bioavailability, and are increasingly focused on tissue distribution and selective targeting of diseased tissues. There are currently few examples of chemical approaches being used to develop and implement new targeting modalities for drug delivery, and key questions have arisen regarding implementation and outcome. Can we effectively utilize physiological targets to localize medicines to diseased tissues? What targets can be used to improve drug localization to tumor sites? Can we modulate the tumor microenvironment? Can we selectively destroy autoimmune-causing cells?
Projects in the lab are focused on developing novel chemical tools, materials and approaches for targeting therapeutics to diseased tissues, with an emphasis on cancer and diabetes. These new tools will facilitate studies in the lab to understand mechanisms that control the physiological distribution of therapeutics and informing future targeting element design.

-For cancer, the primary focus will be developing conjugate and nanoparticle based approaches that control the physiological distribution and uptake of therapeutic molecules to tumors and the use of biomaterials to manipulate the tumor microenvironment.

-For diabetes, our focus will be selective destruction and modulation of cells responsible for the underlying type 1 autoimmunity.

Researchers in the lab design and implement synthetic methods to create novel targeting moieties and materials and link them to payloads with therapeutic value or potential. These constructs will then be evaluated at the protein and cellular levels, with lead constructs being advanced into animal studies. Techniques, methods, and approaches from organic synthesis, chemical biology, materials science, and biomedical engineering will be integrated to address these challenging problems in drug delivery.

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Translational Research in Biomaterials
09/01/2022 - 08/31/2027 (Multi-PI)
PI: Arturo Vegas, PhD
NIH/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering

Targeted Delivery Systems for Islet Protection and Regeneration
08/01/2022 - 12/31/2023 (Multi-PI)
PI: Arturo Vegas, PhD

Quantifying Nanoparticle Distribution in Plants
11/16/2021 - 08/15/2022 (PI)
Invaio Sciences

Targeted immunomodulation of the diabetic islet microenvironment
09/20/2016 - 08/31/2021 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Hepatocyte-Specific Viral Tropism with GalNAc Targeted Viruses
10/30/2017 - 10/29/2019 (PI)
Combined Therapeutics Inc.


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Hou H, Xu Z, Takeda YS, Powers M, Yang Y, Hershberger K, Hanscom H, Svenson S, Simhadri RK, Vegas AJ. Quantitative biodistribution of nanoparticles in plants with lanthanide complexes. Sci Rep. 2023 Dec 05; 13(1):21440. PMID: 38052849; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-47811-4;
  2. Paris JC, Hu S, Wen A, Weitz AC, Cheng R, Gee LB, Tang Y, Kim H, Vegas A, Chang WC, Elliott SJ, Liu P, Guo Y. An S=1 Iron(IV) Intermediate Revealed in a Non-Heme Iron Enzyme-Catalyzed Oxidative C-S Bond Formation. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2023 Oct 23; 62(43):e202309362.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37640689; DOI: 10.1002/anie.202309362;
  3. Doloff JC, Ma M, Sadraei A, Tam HH, Farah S, Hollister-Lock J, Vegas AJ, Veiseh O, Quiroz VM, Rakoski A, Aresta-DaSilva S, Bader AR, Griffin M, Weir GC, Brehm MA, Shultz LD, Langer R, Greiner DL, Anderson DG. Identification of a humanized mouse model for functional testing of immune-mediated biomaterial foreign body response. Sci Adv. 2023 Jun 16; 9(24):eade9488. PMID: 37327334; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9488;
  4. Xu Z, Huo W, Ireland T, Huang L, Ocampo T, Vegas AJ. A Quantitative Metal-Encoded Conjugate Platform for Targeting Ligand Discovery. Bioconjug Chem. 2022 Jul 20; 33(7):1279-1285. PMID: 35758018
  5. Feng Y, Quinnell SP, Lanzi AM, Vegas AJ. Alginate-Based Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as a Drug Codelivery Platform. Nano Lett. 2021 09 22; 21(18):7495-7504. PMID: 34495662; DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c01525;
  6. Doloff JC, Veiseh O, Vegas AJ, Tam HH, Farah S, Ma M, Li J, Bader A, Chiu A, Sadraei A, Aresta-Dasilva S, Griffin M, Jhunjhunwala S, Webber M, Siebert S, Tang K, Chen M, Langan E, Dholakia N, Thakrar R, Qi M, Oberholzer J, Greiner DL, Langer R, Anderson DG. Author Correction: Colony stimulating factor-1 receptor is a central component of the foreign body response to biomaterial implants in rodents and non-human primates. Nat Mater. 2021 Jul; 20(7):1038. PMID: 34012046
  7. Quinnell SP, Leifer BS, Nestor ST, Tan K, Sheehy DF, Ceo L, Doyle SK, Koehler AN, Vegas AJ. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor to the Cytokine Interleukin-4. ACS Chem Biol. 2020 10 16; 15(10):2649-2654. PMID: 32902255
  8. Veiseh O, Vegas AJ. Domesticating the foreign body response: Recent advances and applications. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2019 04; 144:148-161. PMID: 31491445; DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2019.08.010;
  9. Sheehy DF, Quinnell SP, Vegas AJ. Targeting Type 1 Diabetes: Selective Approaches for New Therapies. Biochemistry. 2019 01 29; 58(4):214-233. PMID: 30608114; DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b01118;
  10. Bochenek MA, Veiseh O, Vegas AJ, McGarrigle JJ, Qi M, Marchese E, Omami M, Doloff JC, Mendoza-Elias J, Nourmohammadzadeh M, Khan A, Yeh CC, Xing Y, Isa D, Ghani S, Li J, Landry C, Bader AR, Olejnik K, Chen M, Hollister-Lock J, Wang Y, Greiner DL, Weir GC, Løkensgard Strand B, Rokstad AMA, Lacik I, Langer R, Anderson DG, Oberholzer J. Alginate encapsulation as long-term immune protection of allogeneic pancreatic islet cells transplanted into the omental bursa of macaques. Nat Biomed Eng. 2018 Nov; 2(11):810-821. PMID: 30873298; DOI: 10.1038/s41551-018-0275-1;
Showing 10 of 36 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 36 publications over 16 distinct years, with a maximum of 7 publications in 2016

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Boston MA 02215
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