Ph.D., transcriptional regulation in bacteriophage T5, 1980
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in the Department of Molecular & Cellular Medicine,
studying gene expression in parasites, 1984
Interim Dean of Research & Graduate Studies of the College of Medicine, 1999
Interim Assistant Dean of Research & Graduate Studies for the College of Medicine, 1999 to 2003
Director, Center for Microencapulation & Drug Delivery and was recently awarded a Regents Professorship
Allison Rice-Ficht, Ph.D., Vice Dean for the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy, Regent’s Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, director of Center for Microencapsulation and Drug Delivery, and associate vice president for Research at Texas A&M Health Science Center Dr. Rice-Ficht received her bachelors of science from Auburn University and her doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 1980 investigating mechanisms of viral infection. In post-doctoral work at the University of Iowa she developed a keen interest in tropical diseases and uncovered the molecular basis of infection by the African sleeping sickness parasite, Trypanosoma brucei.
Since 1984, Dr. Rice-Ficht has been a member of the faculty of Texas A&M Health Science Center continuing her interest in tropical disease and vaccine development. These studies unexpectedly revealed a natural capsule produced by parasitic worms that could be used for timed-release of vaccines and drugs. Dr. Rice-Ficht has engineered this capsule or particle with the ultimate goal of creating a needle-free “pocket vaccine” delivery system for the delivery of virtually any vaccine.
The Rice-Ficht laboratory currently uses micro and nanoparticles for timed release of vaccines, producing a continual boosting effect and enhanced vaccination. This technology has been applied to the production of vaccines for brucellosis, tuberculosis and Q fever through funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Gates Foundation.
Since 2002, Dr. Rice-Ficht has served as the Director for the Center for Microencapsulation and Drug Delivery, a group of life scientists and engineers pioneering sustained and targeted delivery of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. She also serves as Associate Vice-President for Research of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
Studies in the Ficht lab are currently focused on 1] Use of unique biomaterials for controlled release of live and subunit vaccines. Our focus is currently directed to the production of vaccines against human Brucellosis and Q fever,but will be applied to the storage and delivery of other vaccines. A study of specific immune mechanisms and potentiation through controlled releases is underway. 2] A study of alpha crystalline structure and function.These unique proteins protect against thermal insult and modulate folding and activity of other proteins