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Robert I. Scheinman, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mailing address:

University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mail Stop C238
12850 E. Montview Blvd. V20-4130
Aurora, CO 80045

Office Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)
Fourth Floor
Room 4130

Lab Location:

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (V20)
Fourth Floor
Room 4460D(N)/4470



  • Member, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Training and Education:

  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Biology)
  • PhD, University of Washington, Seattle (Pharmacology)

Clinical / Research Interests:

My research interests are broad. My expertise is in the areas of molecular biology, immunology, and nanotechnology. Currently, I have two major research projects. I am collaborating with Dmitri Simberg on topics relating to immunology and nanoformulations/drug delivery systems. The body can view the surface of a nanoparticle as foreign and react to it. Often this reaction involves the activation of complement, a powerful but complex weapons system. We have recently discovered that the tendency of a patient to activate complement in this context involves an interaction between the protein corona of the nanoparticle surface and natural antibodies produced by the patient. We are working on further understanding this relationship and also synthesizing inhibitors of complement which can be attached to the nanoparticle. In addition to this, we are collaborating on technologies to measure complement activation and to deliver therapeutics in a targeted fashion. In particular, I am interested in the engineering of cells as pharmaceutical agents. In this regard, we are beginning by manipulating the ability of cells to home to the bone marrow via the expression of various cell surface proteins. We hope to use these cells to deliver therapeutics or to detect and report on the presence of metastases. Work in this area could move in many different directions involving either in vitro or in vivo work.

The second major project involves a collaboration with Dr. Andrew Monte in the department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Monte is an MD with an expertise in drugs of abuse. He is particularly concerned with the continual appearance of new synthetic compounds which have unknown toxicities. Together we are developing technologies to detect these compounds in clinical samples. This involves the genetic engineering of cells to express mutant forms of receptors for these drugs of abuse and the use of fluorescence techniques to detect the presence of the drug. These receptors are all from the family of G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCR), which comprises many drug targets. A great deal is known about GPCR structure, allowing us to engage in sophisticated engineering to create novel reporters. Our current focus is to understand how to isolate these integral membrane proteins to create cell-free detection systems. Work on this project would combine protein engineering, biophysics, toxicology, and biochemistry.


  • PharmD Program: Mechanisms of Disease
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences/Toxicology Graduate Program: Methods mini-course, Fundamentals core course, Pharmaceutical Sciences journal club

Representative Publications:

  • Williams-Skipp, C., Raman, T., Valuck, R.J., Watkins, H., Palmer, B.E., and Scheinman, R.I. (2009) Unmasking of a Protective TNFR1 Mediated Signal in the Collagen Arthritis Model. Arthritis Rheum. 60(2):408-18
  • Scheinman, RI, Trivedi, R, Vermillion, S, Kompella, U (2011) RGD-Functionalized STAT1 siRNA Nanoparticles Regress Rheumatoid Arthritis in a Mouse Model. Nanomedicine (London) 6(10):1669-1682.
  • Mehta, G, Scheinman, RI, Holers, VM, Banda NK. (2015) A New Approach for the Treatment of Arthritis in Mice with a Novel Conjugate of an Anti-C5R1 Antiody and C5 Small Interfering RNA. J. Immunol. 194(11):5446-54
  • Vu VP, Gifford GB, Chen F, Benasutti H, Wang G, Groman EV, Scheinman R, Saba L, Moghimi SM, Simberg D. (2019) Immunoglobulin deposition on biomolecule corona determines complement opsonization efficiency of preclinical and clinical nanoparticles. Nature Nanotechnology 14(3):260-268.


NF-κB, Arthritis, Diabetes, Inflammation, TNF, Signal transduction, Autoimmunity, Negative selection, Thymic selection, AIRE, Autoimmune Regulator