P. Douglas Godfrin
University of Delaware
Dr. P. Douglas Godfrin is the recipient of the 2016 Prize for Outstanding Student Research Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) with the citation “For seminal neutron scattering studies of concentrated protein solutions and protein dynamics with application to biopharmaceutical engineering.” The prize and $1000 honorarium will be awarded at the 2016 ACNS in Long Beach, CA, July 10-14, 2016.
Concentrated protein solutions present challenges for formulators of biopharmaceuticals as well as scientists investigating the cellular environment. A key scientific question in modern protein science concerns protein structuring in concentrated solutions and how this organization arises from molecular association to lead to anomalous transport properties. A signature feature of Dr. Godfrin’s investigations into concentrated protein solutions is the combination of SANS/USANS to determine solution microstructure, with complementary measurement of the dynamics in these concentrated solutions by neutron spin echo. Combined with theory and simulation, Dr. Godfrin was able to directly probe a new liquid state of matter, the clustered fluid, discovered both experimentally and theoretically within the past 20 years, and showed how this is relevant to our understanding of the stability and transport properties of concentrated protein solutions. Furthermore, Dr. Godfrin performed these experiments on globular protein solutions, which can be successfully used to test and validate our theoretical understanding of cluster liquids, as well as on model monoclonal antibodies provided by Genentech, which are directly relevant for biopharmaceuticals used for oncology treatment. In achieving these results, Dr. Godfrin collaborated with experts in simulation methods and fundamental theory to develop a new, universal state diagram that extends the Noro-Frenkel law of corresponding states to systems with competing short-range attraction and long-range repulsive interactions. In his doctoral research, which was conducted in part at the NIST Center for Neutron Research, Dr. Godfrin also contributed to the development of the novel 1-2 plane flow SANS sample environment commissioned both at the NCNR and ILL, Grenoble France. This unique sample environment enables directly probing the microstructure via SANS in shearing samples in the plane of shear.
Dr. Godfrin graduated from the University of Delaware in June of 2015, and is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current interests include developing pharmaceutical formulations for encapsulation of monoclonal antibodies and hydrophobic small molecule drugs in hydrogel beads to control crystal size and bead morphology in order to engineer a specific drug release profile. UDaily Article