Associate Professor, Maré Cudic, Ph.D., pictured center, with undergraduate and graduate student lab team.

Maré Cudic Earns Rank of Associate Professor 

Congratulations to Maré Cudic, Ph.D., who was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Prior to joining FAU in fall 2014, she worked at academic and non-profit research institutions in the U.S. and Europe.

Dr. Cudic currently mentors five graduate and four undergraduate student researchers as part of the Maré Cudic Lab. Her team aims to elucidate the protein-carbohydrate interactions of biological and medical relevance by using multidisciplinary approaches. This research has implications for the development of vaccine-based strategies for cancer treatment and prevention, and novel carbohydrate-recognition based therapeutics for targeting a broad range of diseases.

Dr. Cudic’s research has been funded externally by the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society. Her current NIH grant is a collaboration with Ewa Wojcikiewicz, Ph.D., at the FAU Schmidt College of Medicine and Olivera Finn, Ph.D., at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The main goals of this study are to explore the interactions between macrophage galactose-type lectin and cancer-associated glycans of MUC1 protein that play a role in immunity, inflammation and cancer. This research will pave the way for development of novel glycopeptide-based preventive cancer vaccine.

In addition, Maré Cudic has a long-standing collaboration with Hans-Joachim Gabius, Ph.D., at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany on the characterization of the various lectin-glycan interactions by isothermal titration calorimetry. As part of this collaboration, they have published three joint manuscripts in the past year. Undergraduate student, Forrest FitzGerald, and graduate student, Donella Beckwith, are co-authors on these manuscripts.

Maré and her team have recently published a manuscript in the Journal of Organic Chemistry that for the first time describes synthesis of a positional scanning synthetic glycopeptide combinatorial library, as a tool to explore the role of tumor-associated glycans in the formation of metastasis via association with lectins. All authors on this manuscript are FAU students, three of them are undergraduate student researchers.

Maré is particularly proud of her students’ achievements. Some recent awards and recognition include:

  • graduate student, Donella Beckwith was awarded the Dean Perry College of Science Graduate Scholarship;
  • graduate student, YashoNandini Singh earned Second place for the Physical Sciences and Mathematics Division at the 11th Annual Graduate Research Day;
  • undergraduate student Ivet Boneva received an OURI Undergraduate Research grant;
  • and undergraduate student Forrest FitzGerald was accepted into the MIT Chemistry graduate program.