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Jessica R. Kramer

Office: Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building (SMBB) 5501

Jessica R. Kramer

National Institute of Health Postdoc, Stanford University
University of California Chancellor's Postdoc, UC, Berkeley
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, UCLA
B.S., Biochemistry, University of Utah


Biomaterials, Cancer Diagnostics & Therapeutics, Glycobiology, Regenerative Medicine, Drug Delivery to the CNS

Current Research

**Currently accepting applications for rotation students, postdocs, and undergrads to begin Jan 2017**

Glycocalyx engineering and cancer:

The surface of every cell is covered with an array of glycoproteins and glycolipids that collectively form the glycocalyx. Cancer cells have a strikingly altered glycocalyx, but the causes and effects are poorly understood. Biological methods to modulate glycan patterns are currently extremely limited. Without the ability systematically alter cell-surface glycans, it has been difficult to relate structure to function. The Kramer lab is developing tools for precision glycocalyx engineering that enable systematic studies of the surface of cancer cells and pre-cancerous cells at sites of inflammation. This knowledge is being used to design diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for epithelial cancers.

Cryopreservation of tissue and whole organs:

Cells, tissues, and whole organs are essential elements in life-saving regenerative medicine. To slow cellular degradation processes and bacterial growth, tissues must be stored at reduced or sub-zero temperatures. Many therapeutic cells have reduced viability after freeze/thaw procedures, and blood, platelets, and whole organs can't be frozen at all. Blood can only be refrigerated for up to one month, platelets can only be stored at 22°C for up to 5 days, and most organs must be relocated within a matter of days or even hours. Tragically, organs can go unused simply because they cannot be transplanted in time. Our lab researches bioinspired materials and methods that address the need for effective, low cost, biocompatible cryopreservation.

Delivery of therapeutics to the CNS:

Clinical use of therapeutic drugs, proteins, and genetic materials is often challenged by selective targeting of diseased tissue while sparing healthy tissue. This is particularly difficult for central nervous system (CNS) tissues since crossing the blood brain barrier remains problematic. Debilitating and fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases have potential cures through silencing disease causing genes with siRNA or CRIPSR/Cas9 technology. These therapeutics are unstable circulating in blood and don't efficiently enter target cells, particularly in the CNS. The Kramer lab is researching materials and methods that safely and efficiently deliver therapeutics across the blood brain barrier, and to other tissues throughout the human body.

Selected Publications

Kramer JR, Onoa B, Bustamante C, Bertozzi CR, Chemically tunable mucin chimeras assembled on living cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Oct 13;112(41):12574-9

Kramer JR, Schmidt NW, Mayle KM, Kamei DT, Wong GC, Deming TJ, Reinventing Cell Penetrating Peptides Using Glycosylated Methionine Sulfonium Ion Sequences. ACS Cent Sci 2015 May 27;1(2):83-8

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Multimodal switching of conformation and solubility in homocysteine derived polypeptides. J Am Chem Soc 2014 Apr 16;136(15):5547-50

Rodriguez AR, Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Enzyme-triggered cargo release from methionine sulfoxide containing copolypeptide vesicles. Biomacromolecules 2013 Oct 14;14(10):3610-4

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Reversible chemoselective tagging and functionalization of methionine containing peptides. Chem Commun (Camb) 2013 Jun 7;49(45):5144-6

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Preparation of multifunctional and multireactive polypeptides via methionine alkylation. Biomacromolecules 2012 Jun 11;13(6):1719-23

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Glycopolypeptides with a redox-triggered helix-to-coil transition. J Am Chem Soc 2012 Mar 7;134(9):4112-5

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, General method for purification of a-amino acid-n-carboxyanhydrides using flash chromatography. Biomacromolecules 2010 Dec 13;11(12):3668-72

Kramer JR, Deming TJ, Glycopolypeptides via living polymerization of glycosylated-L-lysine N-carboxyanhydrides. J Am Chem Soc 2010 Oct 27;132(42):15068-71