COSAM » COSAM Faculty » Biological Sciences » Avila-Flores, Adriana

Adriana Avila-Flores
Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor

Office: 026 Rouse Life Sciences Bldg.

Lab: 035 Rouse Life Sciences Bldg.

101 Life Sciences Bldg.
Auburn University, AL 36849

Phone: (334) 844-1634
Fax: (334) 844-1645



Ph.D. – Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
M.S. – University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, SPAIN
B.Sc. – Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, SPAIN

Research and Teaching Interests

The Avila-Flores laboratory is at the interfaces of biology, chemistry and physics. A primary focus is to design innovative nanomedicines for the treatment of different human diseases. Current research employs peptide-based materials that self-assemble into vesicular nanoparticles. These nano-vesicles have lipid-like properties including solute encapsulation, fusion and resizing. In cancer research, these nanoparticles are able to deliver therapeutic DNA and mRNA vaccines that can prevent or treat certain types of cancer.

Additionally, the laboratory is investigating new methods for gene silencing in insect models, by adding dsRNA associated with peptide nanoparticles to their diet. Gene silencing by feeding dsRNA in insects has great potential as a tool for pest management because it can reduce the off-target effect and slow down resistance development to chemical insecticides.

Selected Publications

  1. S. M. Barros*, L.A. Avila*, S.K. Whitaker, E.I.C. Beltrão, J.M. Tomich. 2017. Biophysical and Cellular Studies on Branched Amphipathic Peptide Capsules Prepared Using Different Ratios of the Two Constituent Peptides. Langmuir 33:7096–7104. * Equal Contribution.

  2. J.N. Negou, L.A. Avila and C.J. Easley. 2017. An automated droplet-based μChopper for detection of small fluorescence differences using the lock-in method. Analytical Chemistry 89.

  3. L.A. Avila, L.M.M. Aps, N. Ploscariu, P. Sukthankar, R. Guo, K.E. Wilkinson, P. Games, R. Szoszkiewicz, R.P.S. Alves, M.O. Diniz, Y. Fang, L.C.S. Ferreira and J. M. Tomich. 2016. Gene delivery and immunomodulatory effects of plasmid DNA associated with Branched Amphiphilic Peptide Capsules. Journal of Controlled Release 241:15–24.

  4. S. M. Barros, S. K. Whitaker, P. R.Sukthankar, L.A. Avila, S. Gudlur, M. Warner, E. I. C. Beltrão, J. M. Tomich. 2016. A Review of Solute Encapsulating Nanoparticles used as Delivery Systems with Emphasis on Branched Amphipathic Peptide Capsules. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 596:22-42.

  5. L.A. Avila, L.M.M. Aps, P. Sukthankar, N. Ploscariu, G. Gudlur, L. Šimo, R. Szoszkiewicz, Y. Park, S.Y. Lee, T. Iwamoto, L.C.S. Ferreira, J.M. Tomich. 2015. Branched Amphiphilic Cationic Oligopeptides Form Peptiplexes with DNA: A Study of Their Biophysical Properties and Transfection Efficiency. Molecular Pharmaceutics 12: 706-715.

  6. Sukthankar, S.K. Whitaker, L.A. Avila, J Gao, J.M. Tomich. 2014. Peptide Nano-Capsules with Lipid Vesicle like Characteristics. Biophysical Journal 106:503a.

  7. L.A. Avila, S.Y. Lee, and J.M. Tomich. 2014. Non-Viral in vitro Delivery Systems for Plasmid DNA in Eukaryotes. Journal of Nanopharmaceutics and Drug Delivery 2: 17–35.

  8. P. Sukthankar, L.A. Avila, S. K Whitaker, T. Iwamoto, A. Morgenstern, C. Apostolidis, K. Liu, R.P. Hanzlik, E. Dadachova, J.M. Tomich. 2013. Branched Amphiphilic Peptide Capsules: Cellular Uptake and Retention of Encapsulated Solutes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes 1838:2296–2305.

  9. P. Sukthankar, S. Gudlur, L.A. Avila, S. K. Whitaker, B. Katz, Y. Hiromasa, J. Gao, P. Thapa, D. Moore, T. Iwamoto, J. Chen, and J.M. Tomich. 2013. Branched Oligopeptides Form Nanocapsules with Lipid Vesicle Characteristics, Langmuir 29:4648-14654.

  10. S. Gudlur, P. Sukthankar1, J. Gao, L.A. Avila, Y. Hiromasa, J. Chen, T. Iwamoto and J. M. Tomich. 2012. Peptide Nanovesicles Formed by the Self-Assembly of Branched Amphiphilic Peptides. PLoS One 7:e45374. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045374.

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Last updated: 02/09/2020