The Vegas Team

Principal Investigator

Arturo J. Vegas

Dr. Arturo J. Vegas is the Peter Paul Career Development Professor at Boston University. He is appointed in the Department of Chemistry, has an affiliation with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and is a core faculty member of both the BU Center for Molecular Discovery as well as the BU Nanotechnology Innovation Center. He was recently awarded a New Innovator Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award by the NIH.

Arturo received his BA in Biology from Cornell University and a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University. His doctoral studies under the direction of Professor Stuart Schreiber at Harvard focused on developing novel drug-like compounds that modulate chromatin-modifying enzymes, now popular targets for cancer therapeutics. His postdoctoral work with Professors Robert Langer and Daniel G. Anderson at MIT led to the development of new materials for cell encapsulation, cell-based therapies, and nucleic acid delivery. His work has been published in multiple high-impact journals, including Nature Biotechnology and Nature Medicine, and has led to 10 patents both issued and pending.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Lan Luo
Lan went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute for undergraduate, and got her PhD from University of Chicago with Professor Hisashi Yamamoto on asymmetric catalysis. She is now working on receptor-mediated pathways of drug delivery into the central nervous system. 

Graduate Students

Daniel Sheehy
Daniel is a third year graduate student in the Chemistry department and is the lab’s first graduate student. He did his undergraduate studies at Arizona State where he double majored in Biochemistry (Medicinal Chemistry) and Biological Sciences, and he obtained his Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from UConn Health in 2015. Daniel is interested in developing targeted immunomodulation therapies towards autoimmune diseases. During his spare time he blogs about the art of navigating academic research in chemical biology at , enjoys taking backpacking trips, and is a self-taught mechanic.
Yunpeng Feng
Yunpeng is a third year PhD candidate the from Department of Biomedical Engineering. He received his B.S. from Pharmaceutical Sciences at China Pharmaceutical University (2010). Then, he received his master degrees from St. John's University (Industry Pharmacy, 2013) and Arizona State University (BME, 2015). His current research interests are the development of multi-stimuli materials and the exploration of them as drug delivery platforms for cancer and type 1 diabetes treatments. In his spare time, he likes watching movies and traveling. 
Ziyi Xu
Ziyi is a second year graduate student in the Chemistry department. Ziyi received his BS in Applied Chemistry from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in 2013 and his MS in Medicinal Chemistry from Northeastern University in 2015. Ziyi is interested in the development of chemical biology tools to expand the potential of small molecules in the field of drug delivery.
Kelly Tan
Kelly is a second year graduate student in the Chemistry department. Kelly received her B.S. in Chemistry at Emmanuel College. In the laboratory of Dr. Christine Jaworek-Lopes, she investigated the toxicity of tattoo pigments through heavy metal analysis and examined the effects of light irradiation on photodecomposition of organic azo pigments. Upon graduation, she worked under Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Patti at the Joslin Diabetes Center to investigate the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes by studying the glucose metabolism of insulin resistant human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Having worked on projects in different scientific fields, she is excited to extend her scientific repertoire in the Vegas lab by using chemical methods to develop novel high-affinity targeting ligands for biological targets in the cancer microenvironment. Outside of the lab, you can find Kelly hiking, practicing yoga, training in mixed martial arts and competing in Spartan races. AROO!
William McCormick
Bill is a second year graduate student in the Chemistry department. Bill earned his BS in Chemistry in 2015 after serving in the United States Marine Corps, working as a security contractor and teaching scuba diving. He is currently researching targeted delivery systems for anti-cancer therapeutics as part of his PhD program
Sean Quinnell
Sean is a second year graduate student in the Chemistry department. Sean received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UConn in 2016. At UConn Sean worked in Dr. Mei Wei’s lab on 3D printing cell-laden polymer-ceramic composites for tissue engineering applications. Sean is interested in developing new targeted delivery systems and modulating the immune system as treatments for Type 1 Diabetes. Outside of lab, Sean enjoys music festivals, working out, and dogs.