Debra Auguste, featured in ‘the 50 most influential African Americans in technology’, got her doctoral degree from Princeton University. Now, she is a professor at Northeastern University, working on her research on therapeutics. Because of her belief about the human body not being homogenous, her work focuses more on improving medical therapies and drug delivery methods. All of the solutions, according to her, would be found on the molecular level of human biology.
“We try to understand what is happening on the biological level so we can use that information to engineer better therapeutics,” Auguste said.
She is very excited to start teaching at the university, where students will benefit from her extensive knowledge either on drug delivery or analytical chemistry. “I’m excited to pursue the opportunities here,” she said. “I have a lot of friends here and there are a lot of people here whose work I’ve known about since I was in graduate school.”
Breast cancer is as serious as all types of cancers; Auguste’s research focuses primarily on this issue. She is striving to find something which will ensure chemotherapeutics to work straight on the tumour, no other long processes involved. I know she will be succeeding in her research, because of the commendable work on neonatal tracheas. She claims that scientists and researchers need to find a material in therapeutics that will help in contradictory functions. “At the same time that your trachea has to be open so you can breathe, part of it also has to be able to fold in so you can cough and expel your mucus. And it also has to be able to stretch with your diaphragm,” Auguste said.
As a professor of Northeastern, Auguste is now keen on working and exchanging ideas with other professors in the field of nanotechnology. What’s more, she also believes creating a partnership with the School of Pharmacy will help a lot in their interdisciplinary research. “They can provide a unique perspective into how to get from the bench to the clinic,” she said.