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Posted: January 9, 2008
Renowned Scientist and Tenured Professor Joins Luna
(Nanowerk News) Dr. Chris Kepley has been named to the newly created position of nanoImmunology Group Leader in Luna Innovations’ nanoWorks division in Danville, Va. Kepley was previously Assistant Professor with the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine. Luna’s nanoImmunology program is aimed at discovering and developing therapeutic approaches to treat immune disorders using nanomaterials, and it is part of an entire area of research called “nanoPharma,” in which Luna is using nanomaterials to develop pharmaceutical products.
“The addition of Dr. Kepley to our pharmaceutical development program will further advance Luna’s proprietary nanotechnologies into pharmaceutical products,” said Charles Gause, Vice President of Corporate Development and co-founder of the Luna nanoWorks division. “His experience in drug discovery research, biologic systems and business development will help to accelerate Luna’s efforts in nanoMedicine.”
Kepley is the principal author of the paper titled, “Fullerene Nanomaterials Inhibit the Allergic Response,” written by researchers from Luna Innovations and VCU and published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Immunology. This research team was the first to show that fullerenes, hollow carbon nanospheres made up of 60 atoms, sometimes referred to as “buckyballs,” are able to block allergic response in human cell culture experiments and mice. Kepley spent time this past summer at Harvard University where he studied the effects of fullerenes on arthritis. Fullerenes may also offer hope for diabetes, asthma and many other immunological diseases.
“Having previously worked with the Luna team, I feel they are in a unique position to translate many nanoMedicine discoveries from the laboratory bench to the market, ultimately improving human health,” Kepley said.
For almost 20 years, Kepley has devoted his research to studying the mechanisms of allergic disease — the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S. Kepley was the first U.S. recipient of the Henning Lowenstein Research Award, given annually to a scientist under the age of 40 for excellence in allergy research. He received a Research Recognition Award in June 2006 from the VCU School of Medicine, as well as the 2004 Alk Abello International Award for excellence in allergy/immunology research. Kepley has more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 18 of which he was the first author, including two publications in Nature Medicine.
Kepley received his doctorate in Philosophy, Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia, and his master’s degree in Business Administration from the College of William & Mary.
About Luna Innovations:
Luna Innovations Incorporated develops and manufactures new-generation products for the healthcare, telecommunications, energy and defense markets. Our products are used to measure, monitor, protect and improve critical processes in the markets we serve. Through its disciplined commercialization business model, Luna has become a recognized leader in transitioning science to solutions. Luna is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia.
Forward Looking Statements:
This release includes information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding, but not limited to: the development of nanotechnologies into marketable pharmaceutical, medical, or other products and Luna’s ability to pursue business opportunities in new markets. Statements that describe the Company’s business strategy, goals, prospects, opportunities, outlook, plans or intentions are also forward looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including risks and uncertainties set forth in the company’s periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such filings are available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov, and at the company’s website at http://www.lunainnovations.com. The statements made in this release are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and Luna Innovations undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.