Dr. Noureddine Abidi, is Endowed Professor of Biopolymers in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and Director of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech University. Dr. Abidi’s research interests include textile chemistry, functionalization of polymeric surfaces (to impart water repellency, antimicrobial properties, self-cleaning, and wrinkle free), physical and chemical characterization of biopolymers (including cotton cellulose), preparation of advanced polymeric and composite materials from biorenewables and the synthesis of environmentally friendly bioproducts. Abidi holds 3 issued patents and has published over 125 papers on a diverse array of topics related to utilization of cotton fiber for sustainable technologies. Abidi has served as PI/co-PI on funded research grants totaling more than $17.2 M.
Chief Science Officer
Dr. Ted Reid received his Bachelors in Chemistry from Occidental College and his Masters in Chemistry from the University of Arizona working in Natural Products Chemistry. He then received his Doctorate in Chemistry / Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, working on the mechanism of action of Pepsin. This was followed by postdoctoral studies with Irwin Wilson at the University of Colorado on the mechanism of action of alkaline phosphatase and drug design. Dr. Wilson was the first person to rationally design a drug. He then moved to a faculty position at Yale University, for 14 years, in the Departments of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the Ophthalmology and Visual Science. In 1984 he joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis, where his laboratory worked on defense peptides and neuropeptides in ocular wound healing. This work led to the design of compounds that have the ability to heal neurotrophic ulcers on the eye of humans.
Dr. Reid is currently at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where he is the co-Director of the Biotechnology Program and Vice Chairman of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. His research concerns wound healing, drug design and the use of organo-selenium compounds to combat biofilms and bacterial infection.
The selenium research led to the design of a dental sealant, which blocks plaque formation on teeth, has FDA approval, and is currently on the market by SelenBio Inc. In addition to treating humans, it is currently finding great use in the Veterinary world for the teeth and gums of cats and dogs.
Another current project that is close to reaching the market is a urinary catheter that blocks biofilm formation on the catheter. This is important because catheters get infected at the rate of 10% per day. This research is undergoing testing for FDA approval.
On the drug design front, Dr. Reid has helped to develop new drugs using the chemical structure of the antimicrobial compound, “minocycline”. His lab has designed new analogs that have no antimicrobial activity yet have the ability to inhibit alcohol use disorder. This drug blocks both the craving for alcohol and the withdrawal symptoms. This research is also going through phase one FDA testing.
An off-shoot of the minocycline analog research is the recent finding that one of the minocycline analogs also has the ability to be used as an eye-drop to block age-related macular dystrophy and diabetic retinopathy. At the moment these blinding eye problems are only treated by injection of antibodies into the eye. These injections have only limited effect, are extremely expensive, and require a trained Ophthalmologist for the injection. The eye drops will be inexpensive and can be administered by the patient.
Research is also underway to develop a therapeutic that targets and inactivates COVID-19 and can be administered by a nasal spray.
Chief Operations Officer
Dr. Nicholas Bergfeld received Bachelors in Biochemistry and Psychology from Texas Tech University and his Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He received his Medical Doctorate from Yale University and worked for LeapFrog Investments, one of the largest emerging markets impact investing private equity firms, as Health Practice Manager.
In 2017, he returned to his hometown of Lubbock, TX to work as an economic development policy advisor and business consultant. He is an award winning startup coach and mentor, and has mentored four National Science Foundation I-corps nationals teams, the most of any Texas Tech affiliate.
Chief Medical Officer
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