Gregory Howard

Ph.D. student

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine

Greg received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron in 2015. While an undergraduate, Greg worked on a variety of drug delivery projects for cancer therapeutics including theranostic nanoparticles for simultaneous imaging and cancer therapy, platelet-mimetic nanoparticles to halt cancer metastases in blood circulation, and design of L-tyrosine amino acid derivative polymers for use in biodegradable nanoparticles for gene therapy. In senior year, Greg worked at a biotech startup as part of a yearlong Co-Op where he was involved in the development of antibiotic therapies for orphan diseases, thereby focusing his research interests to translation of biomedical science from bench to bedside. After graduation, Greg led an international collaboration at University of Oxford and National Institutes of Health as an NIH OxCam scholar focusing on the study of glycosylation patterns on Ebolavirus glycoproteins and the implications for Ebolavirus-specific humoral immunity and therapeutic antibody design. 

In Mao Lab, Greg has been applying biomedical engineering training to immunology to develop more effective protein-based prophylactic nanoparticle vaccines for treating infectious diseases (e.g., malaria, HIV) and cancer. Outside of the lab, Greg enjoys running, weightlifting, making music, writing, giving back via parish life and outreach, and spending time with his wife, Regina, and son, William. 

Relevant Publications:

  • Howard GP*, Khare P*, Bender NG, Mao HQ, Dinglasan RR. “Immunopotentiation by a lymph node-targeted malaria transmission-blocking nanovaccine.” Frontiers in Immunology. 2021; 12: 729086.
  • Wilson K*, Howard GP*, Coatsworth H, Dinglasan RR, Mao H-Q, Plebanski M. “Biodegradable PLGA-b-PEG Nanoparticles Induce T Helper 2 (Th2) Immune Responses and Sustained Antibody Titers via TLR9 Stimulation.” Vaccines. 2020; 8(2): 261. 
  • Ke X, Howard GP, Tang H, Chang B, Saung MT, Santos JL, Mao HQ. “Physical and Chemical Profiles of Nanoparticles for Immune System Targeting.” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 2019; 151: 72–93.
  • Howard GP, Verma G, Ke XY, Thayer WM, Hamery T, Baxter VK, Lee JE, Dinglasan RR, Mao HQ. “Critical size limit of biodegradable nanoparticles for enhanced lymph node trafficking and paracortex penetration.” Nano Research. 2019; 12(4): 837–844.
  • Hickey JW, Vicente FP, Howard GP, Mao HQ, Schneck JP. “Biologically Inspired Design of Nanoparticle Artificial Antigen-Presenting Cells for Immunomodulation.” Nano Letters. 2017; 17(11): 7045–7054.