In the Spotlight...

Tione Buranda, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Health Sciences Center
The University of New Mexico

Dr. Buranda has disclosed nine inventions, received one issued U. S. patent, has one pending patent application, and has an option to license agreement with local start-up company Accelera Diagnostics, LLC, for a bead-based assay method to detect G protein-coupled receptor compounds used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.

The bead-based assay technology is used for drug discovery. The beads are coated with a specific protein and suspended in a fluid that researchers want to test. The suspension is run through a flow cytometer to evaluate the reaction of the proteins on the surface of the beads with those in the solution. The process can screen molecules involving more than a dozen molecular interactions that contribute to cancer, infectious diseases, and inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Buranda's technologies represent different aspects of cell signaling, adhesion, and membrane trafficking. He and his co-inventors have developed novel research tools and methods, such as rapid mix flow cytometry, established real-time FRET-based methods to study affinity-based conformational changes in integrins and lateral organization of membranes. His group has pioneered the use of fluorescence calibration beads based on quantum dots which have enabled them to quantify cellular fluorescence in terms of the number of fluorescent molecules (receptor ligands or fluorescent lipid derivatives) associated with the cells. Recently, Dr. Buranda has focused on the study of the mechanism of hantavirus infection and pathogenesis. In collaboration with his co-inventors, he has developed assays to directly measure the effects of the virus and host factors on cell-cell adhesion as well as multiple signaling GTPases that are activated upstream. Loss of cell-cell adhesion might be related to pulmonary edema, which is a hallmark of hantavirus cardio pulmonary syndrome (HCPS).

Dr. Buranda's research interests include plasma membrane organization, signaling, and cell adhesion; spatiotemporal aspects of signaling and internalization; virus-host cell interactions; and dysregulation of cell barrier function due to virus infection and trauma.

Issued U.S. Patents

7,189,519 Bead-Based Detection of Ligand-GPCR-G Protein Complexes, issued February 13, 2007

Pending Patent Applications

  • Rapid, Effector-Based, Flow-Cytometry Assay for Activated GTPases

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Learn more about 2015 STC.UNM's Innovation Fellow, Dr. Cheryl L. Willman, Director & CEO of the UNM Cancer Center.

Recently Issued Patents

Compounds with Reduced Ring Size for Use in Diagnosing and Treating Melanoma, Including Metastatic Melanoma and Methods Related to Same
U.S. Patent No. 8,986,651, Issued March 24, 2015. Inventors: Yubin Miao, Haixun Guo
Protocells and Their Use for Targeted Delivery of Multicomponent Cargos to Cancer Cells
U.S. Patent No. 8,992,984, Issued March 31, 2015. Inventors: C. Jeffrey Brinker, Carlee Ashley, Xingmao Jiang, Juewen Liu, David Peabody, Walker Wharton, Eric Carnes, Bryce Chackerian, Cheryl Willman
Conjugated Polyelectrolyte Capsules: Light Activated Antimicrobials
U.S. Patent No. 9,005,540, Issued April 14, 2015. Inventors: Kirk Schanze, David Whitten, Thomas Corbitt, Jonathan Sommer, Motokatsu Ogawa
Arg-Gly-Asp-Conjugated Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Hybrid Peptide for use in Diagnosing and Treating Melanoma, Including Metastatic Melanoma and Methods Related to Same
U.S. Patent No. 9,005,575, Issued April 14, 2015. Inventors: Yubin Miao, Jianquan Yang
System and Methods for Generating Unclonable Security Keys in Integrated Circuits
U.S. Patent No. 9,030,226, Issued May 12, 2015. Inventors: James Plusquellic, Dhruva Acharyya, Ryan Helinski