Not long before Arch Creasy graduated from the University of Virginia with his Ph.D. in chemical engineering last May, he presented his research at the spring 2018 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Biochemical Technology. His presentation, “Case of the disappearing protein peak: Gradient elution behavior in HIC with U-shaped retention factor curves” has been selected for a Best of BIOT Award.

The Best of BIOT awards are announced in the fall to recognize excellent presentations given at the annual ACS National Meeting. Audience and session chair voting determines the winners, and each recipient is invited to give a webinar reprising the original presentation. Creasy, who was heavily recruited by Pfizer and is working at its Andover, Mass., research and development site, will present his webinar on Oct. 16.

While a Ph.D. candidate at UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Creasy worked in Lawrence R. Quarles Professor Giorgio Carta’s bioseparations lab. His research involved investigating and characterizing chromatographic behavior to optimize the recovery, separation and purification of biopharmaceuticals.

“We show that for certain proteins on hydrophobic interaction chromatography [HIC], there is a local minimum in binding strength at intermediate salt concentrations,” Creasy said. “This work relates that binding behavior to the phenomenon of disappearing elution peaks observed in HIC with steep elution salt gradients. Models developed in this work can be used to select gradients that avoid undesirable behaviors and to design more robust chromatography steps.”