Andrew Mackay, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor
AddressPSC 306A
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089-9121
Phone+1 323 442 4118
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    Collapse Overview
    Our lab engineers innovative protein-polymer tools and drug carriers that respond to their environment. Cancer and ocular drug delivery are our primary focus; however, we also develop biomaterials that modulate cell signaling and trafficking. Protein-polymers are repetitive polypeptides that can be expressed in cells, fused to functional peptides, and tuned to respond to cues such as temperature, concentration, or nanoassembly. Composed from genetically-engineered biomaterials, their sequence and behavior can be precisely tailored at the genetic level. Drug delivery in the eye and cancer is often limited by access to and retention at the target site. In addition, many small molecules are dose-limited by toxicity at peripheral sites in the body. Our strategy is to repackage drugs and functional peptides into protein-polymers that control release and reduce toxicity. Successful carrier strategies are being formulated and evaluated for translation to the clinic. Using these biomaterials, our group has recently made significant breakthroughs by assembling 'microdomains' inside living cells. When decorated with functional proteins, these microdomains are helping us to precisely modulate cellular biology. To explore the potential for these new tools, we explore fundamental relationships between microdomain phase behavior and interactions with other proteins, membranes, organelles, and cells. Please explore our lab website to learn more about our work.

    Dr. 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, Dr. MacKay studied at Duke University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. In 2008 Dr. MacKay joined the faculty at the University of Southern California. Dr. MacKay is a full member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has authored over 49 peer-reviewed publications. His work is and has been supported by the US Army, NIH/NIGMS, NIH/NIBIB, NIH/NEI, StopCancer, USC Ming Hsieh Institute, and the USC Whittier Foundation. His group explores biomolecular engineering and nanomedicine. At the USC School of Pharmacy, Dr. MacKay has deep expertise teaching drug delivery, nanoscience, and pharmacokinetics.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Protein-polymer nanomedicine for Sjogren's Syndrome
    NIH R01EY026635Mar 1, 2017 - Feb 28, 2022
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Intracellular switching using genetically engineered protein microdomains
    NIH R01GM114839Apr 1, 2015 - Mar 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    A rapid, reversible switch for controlling intracellular trafficking
    NIH R21EB012281Jul 1, 2010 - Jun 30, 2013
    Role: Principal Investigator
    pH sensitive elastin-like-peptides for tumor targeting
    NIH F32CA123889Jul 1, 2006 - Jun 30, 2008
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Single-Cell Quantification of the Transition Temperature of Intracellular Elastin-like Polypeptides. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2021 02 08; 7(2):428-440. Tyrpak DR, Li Y, Lei S, Avila H, MacKay JA. PMID: 33455201.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. Berunda Polypeptides Carrying Rapalogues Inhibit Tumor mTORC1 Better than Oral Everolimus. Biomacromolecules. 2020 08 10; 21(8):3038-3046. Peddi S, MacKay JA. PMID: 32484665.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    3. Anti-FLT3 nanoparticles for acute myeloid leukemia: Preclinical pharmacology and pharmacokinetics. J Control Release. 2020 08 10; 324:317-329. Park M, Vaikari VP, Lam AT, Zhang Y, MacKay JA, Alachkar H. PMID: 32428520.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    4. Nanotoxicology of an Elastin-like Polypeptide Rapamycin Formulation for Breast Cancer. Biomacromolecules. 2020 03 09; 21(3):1091-1102. Peddi S, Roberts SK, MacKay JA. PMID: 31927993.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    5. Caveolin elastin-like polypeptide fusions mediate temperature-dependent assembly of caveolar microdomains. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2020 01 13; 6(1):198-204. Tyrpak DR, Wang Y, Avila H, Guo H, Fu R, Truong AT, Park M, Okamoto CT, Hamm-Alvarez SF, MacKay JA. PMID: 32542186.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    6. The humanin peptide mediates ELP nanoassembly and protects human retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative stress. Nanomedicine. 2020 02; 24:102111. Li Z, Sreekumar PG, Peddi S, Hinton DR, Kannan R, MacKay JA. PMID: 31655204.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    7. Intracellular Delivery of Rapamycin From FKBP Elastin-Like Polypeptides Is Consistent With Macropinocytosis. Front Pharmacol. 2018; 9:1184. Peddi S, Pan X, MacKay JA. PMID: 30386244.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    8. A hybrid protein-polymer nanoworm potentiates apoptosis better than a monoclonal antibody. ACS Nano. 2014 Mar 25; 8(3):2064-76. Aluri SR, Shi P, Gustafson JA, Wang W, Lin YA, Cui H, Liu S, Conti PS, Li Z, Hu P, Epstein AL, MacKay JA. PMID: 24484356.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    9. Elastin-like peptide amphiphiles form nanofibers with tunable length. Biomacromolecules. 2012 Sep 10; 13(9):2645-54. Aluri S, Pastuszka MK, Moses AS, MacKay JA. PMID: 22849577.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    10. Design and cellular internalization of genetically engineered polypeptide nanoparticles displaying adenovirus knob domain. J Control Release. 2011 Oct 30; 155(2):218-26. Sun G, Hsueh PY, Janib SM, Hamm-Alvarez S, MacKay JA. PMID: 21699930.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 23     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    11. Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors. Nanoscale Self-Assembly for Delivery of Therapeutics and Imaging Agents. 2011; 1(13):5-25. Chen M, McDaniel JR, MacKay JA, Chilkoti, A.
    12. Quantitative model of the phase behavior of recombinant pH-responsive elastin-like polypeptides. Biomacromolecules. 2010 Nov 08; 11(11):2873-9. Mackay JA, Callahan DJ, Fitzgerald KN, Chilkoti A. PMID: 20925333.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 24     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    13. Theranostic agents that co-deliver therapeutic and imaging agents? Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010 Aug 30; 62(11):1003-4. MacKay JA, Li Z. PMID: 20937334.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Biomolecular engineering of intracellular switches in eukaryotes. J Drug Deliv Sci Technol. 2010 May; 20(3):163-169. Pastuszka MK, Mackay JA. PMID: 21209849.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    15. Recursive directional ligation by plasmid reconstruction allows rapid and seamless cloning of oligomeric genes. Biomacromolecules. 2010 Apr 12; 11(4):944-52. McDaniel JR, Mackay JA, Quiroz FG, Chilkoti A. PMID: 20184309.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 65     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    16. Injectable intratumoral depot of thermally responsive polypeptide-radionuclide conjugates delays tumor progression in a mouse model. J Control Release. 2010 May 21; 144(1):2-9. Liu W, MacKay JA, Dreher MR, Chen M, McDaniel JR, Simnick AJ, Callahan DJ, Zalutsky MR, Chilkoti A. PMID: 20117157.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    17. In situ growth of a stoichiometric PEG-like conjugate at a protein's N-terminus with significantly improved pharmacokinetics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 08; 106(36):15231-6. Gao W, Liu W, Mackay JA, Zalutsky MR, Toone EJ, Chilkoti A. PMID: 19706892.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 26     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    18. Fabrication of elastin-like polypeptide nanoparticles for drug delivery by electrospraying. Biomacromolecules. 2009 Jan 12; 10(1):19-24. Wu Y, MacKay JA, McDaniel JR, Chilkoti A, Clark RL. PMID: 19072041.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 33     Fields:    
    19. Temperature sensitive peptides: engineering hyperthermia-directed therapeutics. Int J Hyperthermia. 2008 Sep; 24(6):483-95. Mackay JA, Chilkoti A. PMID: 18608590.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 27     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    20. HIV TAT peptide modifies the distribution of DNA nanolipoparticles following convection-enhanced delivery. Mol Ther. 2008 May; 16(5):893-900. MacKay JA, Li W, Huang Z, Dy EE, Huynh G, Tihan T, Collins R, Deen DF, Szoka FC. PMID: 18388927.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    21. Improved non-chromatographic purification of a recombinant protein by cationic elastin-like polypeptides. Biomacromolecules. 2007 May; 8(5):1417-24. Lim DW, Trabbic-Carlson K, Mackay JA, Chilkoti A. PMID: 17407348.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 17     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    22. Stimulus responsive elastin biopolymers: Applications in medicine and biotechnology. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2006 Dec; 10(6):652-7. Chilkoti A, Christensen T, MacKay JA. PMID: 17055770.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 42     Fields:    
    23. Acid-triggered transformation of diortho ester phosphocholine liposome. J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Jan 11; 128(1):60-1. Huang Z, Guo X, Li W, MacKay JA, Szoka FC. PMID: 16390121.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    
    24. Designing dendrimers for biological applications. Nat Biotechnol. 2005 Dec; 23(12):1517-26. Lee CC, MacKay JA, Fréchet JM, Szoka FC. PMID: 16333296.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 311     Fields:    
    25. Thiocholesterol-based lipids for ordered assembly of bioresponsive gene carriers. Mol Ther. 2005 Mar; 11(3):409-17. Huang Z, Li W, MacKay JA, Szoka FC. PMID: 15727937.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    
    26. Structural analyses reveal phosphatidyl inositols as ligands for the NR5 orphan receptors SF-1 and LRH-1. Cell. 2005 Feb 11; 120(3):343-55. Krylova IN, Sablin EP, Moore J, Xu RX, Waitt GM, MacKay JA, Juzumiene D, Bynum JM, Madauss K, Montana V, Lebedeva L, Suzawa M, Williams JD, Williams SP, Guy RK, Thornton JW, Fletterick RJ, Willson TM, Ingraham HA. PMID: 15707893.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 167     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    27. Distribution in brain of liposomes after convection enhanced delivery; modulation by particle charge, particle diameter, and presence of steric coating. Brain Res. 2005 Feb 28; 1035(2):139-53. MacKay JA, Deen DF, Szoka FC. PMID: 15722054.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 54     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    28. Low-pH-sensitive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-stabilized plasmid nanolipoparticles: effects of PEG chain length, lipid composition and assembly conditions on gene delivery. J Gene Med. 2005 Jan; 7(1):67-79. Li W, Huang Z, MacKay JA, Grube S, Szoka FC. PMID: 15515149.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 27     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    29. Mechanism of pH-triggered collapse of phosphatidylethanolamine liposomes stabilized by an ortho ester polyethyleneglycol lipid. Biophys J. 2003 Mar; 84(3):1784-95. Guo X, MacKay JA, Szoka FC. PMID: 12609880.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    30. Low-pH-sensitive PEG-stabilized plasmid-lipid nanoparticles: preparation and characterization. Bioconjug Chem. 2003 Mar-Apr; 14(2):420-9. Choi JS, MacKay JA, Szoka FC. PMID: 12643753.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    31. HIV TAT Protein Transduction Domain Mediated Cell Binding and Intracellular Delivery of Nanoparticles. J Dispers Sci Technol. 2003; 24(3):465-473. Mackay JA, Szoka FC. PMID: 20808712.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    32. Selective differentiation of mammalian bone marrow stromal cells cultured on three-dimensional polymer foams. J Biomed Mater Res. 2001 May; 55(2):229-35. Martin I, Shastri VP, Padera RF, Yang J, Mackay AJ, Langer R, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Freed LE. PMID: 11255174.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 21     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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