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J. Andrew MacKay

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Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering



Andrew MacKay received his SB in chemical engineering and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow, he completed his PhD at the University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley in the joint graduate group in bioengineering in 2005. As a Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow, MacKay studied at Duke University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. In 2008, he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California. MacKay is a full member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has authored more than 84 peer-reviewed publications. His work is and has been supported by the U.S. Army, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Eye Institute, StopCancer, USC Ming Hsieh Institute and the USC Whittier Foundation.

Research Summary

Biology is unparalleled at generating multifunctional materials at the nanoscale. Be they enzymes, antibodies, viral capsids or organelles, no technologies yet invented mimic the functionality and scale ubiquitous to biology. Motivated by this observation, my group harnesses biology to assemble recombinant ‘protein-polymers’ with applications in disease, bio-sensing, and targeted manipulation of the cell. As a platform, we use the elastin-like polypeptides, which are a repeated, humanized amino acid sequence that can be: i) expressed by cells; ii) fused to functional peptides; iii) tuned to respond to environmental cues, and iv) biodegraded in biological microenvironments. An emerging technology, elastin-like polypeptides facilitate design of nanomaterials with a precision ubiquitous to biology. We are actively working on applications in immunology, ocular dysfunction, and cancer.

  • Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

  • PSC 306A
  • John Stauffer Pharmaceutical Sciences Center
  • 1985 Zonal Ave. Los Angeles Ca 90033
  • USC Mail Code: 9121

Contact Information
  • (323) 442-4118
  • jamackay@usc.edu


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