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Elizabeth Topp
Elizabeth Topp, a UD graduate and Purdue University professor.

Aug. 14: Seminar features Purdue’s Topp

UD alum to speak on glucagon fibrillation research

Pharmaceutical scientist and Purdue University professor Elizabeth Topp, an expert on protein drugs, will speak at the University of Delaware Monday afternoon, Aug. 14, on her study of glucagon fibrillation, a problem that inhibits emergency treatment of hypoglycemia, especially in patients with diabetes, and promising new developments.

The seminar begins at 4 p.m. in Brown Lab, room 101.

Topp, a 1979 graduate of the University of Delaware, will discuss recent computational and experimental studies and present information on new derivatives -- known as phosphoglucagons -- that resist this fibrillation. She will also discuss a software program, Fibpredictor, that can be used to predict the kind of interactions that occur in this fibrillation.

Glucagon is a peptide hormone that effectively and safely increases blood glucose in emergency treatment. It is under-utilized, though, because of solubility and stability issues that have made it hard to administer. The newly invented phosphoglucagons show promise in resolving these issues.

After graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in chemical engineering, Topp earned her master's in chemical and biochemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in pharmaceutics at the University of Michigan.

She was a faculty member at the University of Kansas before joining the faculty at Purdue in 2009. She now is a professor in Purdue's Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy. Her research focuses on protein stability and formulation.

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