Saturday, November 16, 2013
Carole Cramer, Ph.D.
Dr. Carole L. Cramer is internationally recognized as a leader and pioneer in plant transgenics for biopharmaceutical production. She exemplifies cross-disciplinary research approaches leading to a remarkable career in translational research and biotechnology start-ups. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Tibbetts Award by the Small Business Administration in a ceremony at the White House. The Tibbetts Award, which is presented to small businesses and individuals that have received funding from SBIR and STTR programs, highlighted “20 years of successful SBIR research, …and pioneering R & D leading to the introduction of bioengineered plants for manufacturing human therapeutic proteins. Their core innovation demonstrated that the normal gene (glucocerebrosidase) for a human enzyme responsible for Gaucher’s disease could be transformed into plants and expressed to produce a bioactive human enzyme”. Dr. Cramer is an original inventor of the first FDA-approved, human enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) produced in a plant model, and in May of 2012 the drug received full FDA approval and is currently being produced and marketed for use in humans by Protalix Biotherapeutics, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc. Her current research represents the next generation of innovations in human replacement therapeutics – “hi-speed” plant expression technologies for plant-based bioproduction of complex proteins and integrated protein delivery systems that enhance therapeutic efficacy.
Dr. Cramer is currently a professor in the Department of Biology at Arkansas State University and co-founder/CSO of the biotech start-up, BioStrategies LC. She was previously on the faculty of Virginia Tech and was recruited to Arkansas to serve as founding executive director (2004 – 2010) of ASU’s Arkansas Biosciences Institute, a state-of-the-art research institute focused at the interface of agriculture and medicine. She obtained her BA in Biological Science at UC, Berkeley, her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at UC, Irvine, and her postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute.