David W Colby

David Colby
  • Assistant Professor

209 CLB
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716
302-831-1048 (fax)

  • Post-Doctorate - 2010 University of California, San Francisco
  • Doctorate - 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors - 2000 Virginia Commonwealth University

"Our broad interests include many aspects of engineering cells and proteins for biomedical applications, with applications focused on protein misfolding diseases, such as those caused by prions (infectious proteins).

Therapeutic strategies employing stem cell technologies promise to dramatically alter modern medicine, though substantial technical challenges stand in the way of implementing these therapies. On the other hand, protein therapeutics have already found general acceptance and comprise a multi-billion dollar industry. Significant challenges in this area include the identification of therapeutic targets that prove to be efficacious in disease treatment and that can be accessed through the blood stream; alternate means of delivering protein therapeutics to targets that are less accessible is also an important objective.

Many of these challenges are best addressed by researchers with skills in both engineering and cellular/molecular biology using objective-driven research approaches. The ability to mathematically model the complex system of molecules which make up biological cells and tissues in order to identify critical design variables and key events in disease pathogenesis is also advantageous.

We are utilizing engineering strategies to develop novel therapies for protein misfolding diseases, not only by creating designer proteins and genetically engineered cells, buy by developing biophysical tools and mathematical models which will enable us to dissect disease mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets."

XSelected Publications

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.
  1. Gupta S, Jie S, Colby DW, "Protein misfolding detected early in the pathogenesis of a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease using an amyloid seeding assay", J. Biol. Chem. 0
  2. Schiefner A, Chatwell L, Korner J, Neumaier I, Colby DW, Volkmer R, Wittrup KD, Skerra A., "A Disulfide-Free Single-Domain V(L) Intrabody with Blocking Activity towards Huntingtin Reveals a Novel Mode of Epitope Recognition", J. Mol. Biol. 414, 337, (2011)
  3. Colby DW and Prusiner SB, "De Novo Generation of Prion Strains", Nat. Rev. Microbiol 9, 771, (2011)
  4. David W. Colby, Rachel Wain, Ilia Baskakov, Giuseppe Legname, Holger Wille, Christina Palmer, H. Oanh Nguyen, Azucena Lemus, Fred Cohen, Stephen DeArmond, "Protease-sensitive synthetic prions", PLoS Pathog. 6(1), e1000736, (2010)
  5. David W. Colby, Kurt Giles, Ilia Baskakov, Holger Wille, Giuseppe Legname, Stephen DeArmond, Stanley B. Prusiner, "Design and construction of diverse mammalian prion strains", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106, 20417, (2009)
  6. Brian Y. Feng, Brandon H. Toyama, Holger Wille, David W. Colby, Sean R. Collins, Barnaby C.H. May, Stanley B. Prusiner, Jonathan Weissman and Brian K. Shoichet, "Promiscuous Small-molecule Aggregates Inhibit Amyloid Polymerization", Nat. Chem. Biol. 4, 197, (2008)
  7. David W. Colby, Johnson Zhang, Shuyi Wang, Darlene Groth, Giuseppe Legname, Detlev Reisner, and Stanley B. Prusiner, "Prion Detection by an Amyloid Seeding Assay", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 104, 2091, (2007)
  8. David W. Colby, John Cassady, Grace Lin, Vernon Ingram, K. Dane Wittrup, "Stochastic kinetics of intracellular huntingtin aggregate formation", Nat. Chem. Biol. 2, 319, (2006)
  9. David W. Colby, Yijia Chu, John Cassady, Helen Zazulak, Martin Duenwald, Jack M. Webster, Anne Messer, Susan Lindquist, Vernon Ingram, K. Dane Wittrup, "Potent inhibition of huntingtin aggregation and cytotoxicity by a disulfide bond-free single domain intrabody", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 101, 17616, (2004)
  10. Michael J. Feldhaus, Ronald W. Siegel, Lee K. Opresko, J.R. Coleman, J.M. Feldhaus, Yik A. Yeung, J.R. Cochran, Peter Heinzelman, David Colby, Jefferey Swers, C. Graff, H.S. Wiley, K. Dane Wittrup, "Flow-cytometric isolation of human antibodies from a nonimmune Saccharomyces cerevisiae surface display library", Nat. Biotech. 21, 163, (2003)


XSelected Awards

For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.
  1. NIH Pathway to Independence Award: 2009 - 2013
  2. : 2006 - 2009
  3. American Institute of Chemists Outstanding Senior Award
  4. Entrepreneurial Scholarship in Chemical Engineering
  5. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  6. Gordon Research Conference Travel Awards
  7. Gordon Research Conference Travel Awards
  8. Fellow of the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research
  9. NIH Pathway to Independence Award

Bookmark and Share