Dr. Schwendeman’s long-term research goal is to design highly potent and safe synthetic high-density lipoprotein (HDL) nanomedicines for treatment of atherosclerosis. These 10 nm size particles mimic the natural HDL function of cholesterol removal from arterial plaques and subsequent cholesterol transport to the liver for elimination. Dr. Schwendeman spent 12 years in pharmaceutical industry at Cerenis Therapeutics (Fierce 15 biotech,, Pfizer, and Esperion Therapeutics. She was involved in discovery and translation of several HDL therapies to Phase II clinical trials. Her efforts led to development of a kilo-scale recombinant Apolipoprotein A-I process and highly homogeneous and safe HDL particles for the largest-to-date Phase II sHDL clinical trial (>500 patients). She successfully submitted FDA INDs for six different products including nanoparticles, liposome, proteins, peptides and small molecules.


Her current research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of how phospholipid composition of HDL affects its potency, and designing short synthetic peptides that mimic various functions of Apolipoprotein A-I, the main protein component of HDL. Her laboratory has several ongoing translational collaborative projects focused on assessing sHDL utility for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, sepsis, acute lung injury, lupus and diabetic nephropathy.  Dr. Schwendeman also explores the utility of these “nature-made” nanoparticles for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics to SR-BI (HDL-receptor)-expressing tumors as well as for delivery of peptide antigens. Finally, her laboratory is active in developing science-based regulations for testing of complex parenteral products such as nanoparticles, recombinant proteins and microspheres. Research is currently supported by grants from the American Heart Association and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Research Interests

  • Rational design of novel synthetic HDL nanomedicines for treatment of atherosclerosis by designing new ApoA-I mimic peptides and optimizing phospholipid composition

  • Therapeutic applications of HDL nanomedicines for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, septic shock, acute lung injury, lupus and diabetic nephropathy

  • Natural HDL nanocarriers for targeted delivery of caridovascular agents, anticancer drugs, miRNA and peptide antigens

  • Regulatory science: establishing characterization methods for complex parenteral drugs predictive of in vivo performance to aid development of FDA regulatory guidelines

  • Biosimilarity analysis


  • 2023 Fellow of Controlled Release Society , Controlled Release Society
  • 2023 Fellow of American Heart Association , AHA
  • 2015 Winner of Biomedical Innovation Shark Tank, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Selected Publications

  • Schwendeman* A, Sviridov DO, Guo Y, Yuan W, Morin EE, Yuan Y, Stonik J, Freeman L, Ossoli A, Thacker S, Pryor M, Killion S, Chen YE, Turner S. Remaley AT. The effect of phospholipid composition of reconstituted HDL on its cholesterol efflux and anti-inflammatory properties, J. Lipid Res, 56 (9), 1727-1737 (2015). 

  • Morin EE, Guo L, Schwendeman* A, Li* XA, HDL in sepsis – risk factor and therapeutic approach, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6, 244 (2015). 

  • Yuan W, Kuai R, Dai Z, Yuan Y, Noble C, Hayes M, Zheng N, Jiang W, Szoka FC, Schwendeman* A. Development of a flow-through USP 4 apparatus drug release assay for doxorubicin liposomes, AAPS J, 19(1):150-160 (2017).

  • Tang J, Li D, Yuan W, Drake L, Morin EE, Deschaine S, Ackermann R, Olsen K, Smith DE, Schwendeman* A.  Influence of apolipoprotein A-I peptide lipidation and administration   route on pharmacokinetics and ability to mobilize cholesterol, J. Lipid Res, 58(1):124-136 (2017).

  • Kuai R, Ochyl LJ, Bahjat KS, Schwendeman* A, Moon* JJ. Designer nanodisc vaccines for personalized cancer immunotherapy, Nat Materials, in press.