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Philip Low

Philip Low

Cancer Therapeutics
We target drugs to cancer cells by attaching them to ligands that bind with high specificity for a receptor on cancer cells. By concentrating the anti-cancer drug in the malignant cells, we improve both drug potency and toxicity.  Eight ligand-targeted drugs from our lab are currently in human clinical trials and the same tumor-specific targeting ligands are being used to target CAR T cells specifically to tumor tissues. Along similar lines, we are targeting immune modulators to specific immune cell types for the purpose of reprogramming these cells from a tumor-supporting to tumor-killing phenotype.

Tissue Regeneration

We develop bone anabolic drugs that concentrate selectively on a bone fracture surface and dramatically improve both the rate and quality of fracture healing. Applications for this technology include improving the repair of virtually all bone fractures, spinal fusions, facial reconstruction surgeries, bone lengthenings and bone grafts, etc. Related technologies to facilitate repair of traumatized soft tissues and nerves are also being developed.

Treatment of Infectious Diseases

We are designing new therapies for malaria and multiple viral diseases, including HIV, HBV, influenza virus, and SARS-cov-2 (i.e. the causative agent in COVID_19).  As with our other therapies, our anti-viral drugs are specifically targeted to both free virus and virus-infected host cells, thereby avoiding any collateral toxicity to healthy cells.

Reprogramming of the Immune System

Because an imbalance in the immune system contributes to the pathologies of almost all major diseases, including cancers, autoimmune, CNS, cardiovascular, metabolic and fibrotic diseases, we are developing targeting ligands that can deliver attached drugs very selectively to specific immune cell types.  Immune cells for which we currently have specific targeting ligands include activated macrophages, regulatory T cells, antigen presenting cells, activated fibroblasts, and exhausted CAR T cells. Drugs that are being targeted to these cell types include agents that activate, inhibit, proliferate, differentiate or kill these specific immune cells.

Treatment of Erythrocyte Diseases

We have developed a new therapy for malaria in collaboration with Drs. Franco Turrini, Antonella Pantaleo and Huynh Dinh Chien, that is in phase 2B human clinical trials in SE Asia. We have also designed a new therapy for sickle cell disease that is undergoing clinical trials in the USA. Efforts to optimize and improve these therapies are under investigation.

Learn more about Dr. Low's Lab


  • B.S., Brigham Young University, 1971
  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1975


  • Peter Speiser Award, 2018
  • Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research, 2015
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research, 2015
  • American Chemical Society's George & Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Research, 2015
  • Elected National Academy of Inventors, 2015
  • Mathias P. Mertes Award, 2015
  • Roland T. Lakey Award, 2015
  • Morrill Award, 2014
  • BYU Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2013
  • Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award, 2013
  • Outstanding Commercialization Award for Faculty, 2006
  • World of Difference Award, Indiana Health Industry Forum, 2000
  • National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, 1999
  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998
  • Sigma Xi Research Award, 1997
  • Herbert Newby McCoy Award(Purdue University's award for the best research on campus), 1993
  • Indiana Lions Club Cancer Research Award, 1991
  • International Union Against Cancer Fellow, 1987
  • Research Associate, University of Massachusetts, 1975


List of publications