In general, research in the lab lies at the interface of material science, pharmaceutics, and engineering.
One direction for the lab is to create synthetic materials capable of delivering multiple types of drugs within a single payload. This could reduce the dose limiting toxicity associated with the individual drugs, while maximizing therapeutic effects. Polymeric micelles encapsulating both siRNA and drug have been developed in the lab, and have significantly relieved tumor burden in mouse xenograft tumor models. Targeting of the system with antibodies is a new direction for this project. Two other projects on this system, in collaboration with other labs, are also currently being pursued (1 graduate student position open). Chemistry, NMR, TLC, gel permeation chromatography, HPLC, cell culture, setting up rodent tumor models, are all frequently used techniques in this type of research.
Another direction in the lab revolves around 'lipogels' for chelation therapy. LipoGels are comprised of a gel-like core in liposomes. The design of lipoGels allows for ease of surface modifications, such as targeting ligands (e.g. heart) or incorporation of PEG to prolong blood circulation. Optimization and incorporating biodegradability into lipoGels is a new direction for this project (1 graduate student position open). Lipogels are also being investigated for chelation therapy (1 graduate student position open). Formulation of liposomes, nanogels, lipoGels, NMR, TLC, gel permeation chromatography, HPLC, setting up rat models of iron overload, etc, are all frequently used techniques in this project.
Awards and Honors
Fields of interest