This collaborative multidisciplinary research group unites clinicians and basic science researches with primary appointments across the campus including the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, CHOP. These researchers have interests and expertise in translational, mechanistic and methodological aspects of targeted drug delivery systems (DDSs) in the body.
Our primary focus is vascular targeting, in particular to endothealial cells lining the lumen. The PI has pioneered this field three decades ago and the team efforts advanced this approach to a rich continuum of diversified carriers, ligands, cargoes and target epitopes specifically and distinctly enriched in endothelia: normal vs abnormal, pulmonary vs cerebral, internalizable via different endocytic pathways vs surface retained, etc.
We also pursue targeting drugs and carriers to Red Blood Cells (RBC), ideal for intravascular transport of drugs and their hitchhiking to the vascular areas of interest. Further, we load, deliver and transfer drug carriers to many migratory and resident cells in blood and tissues: leukocytes, lymphocyte, macrophages and other host defense and immune cells of different varieties.
We devised successful targeting to these and other elements of the body a wide variety of therapeutic cargoes including enzymes, small molecules, imaging probes and nucleic acids. For these cargoes we use appropriate carriers, protein conjugates and fusion, cells and LNPs.
These targeting strategies and agents showing superior results in preclinical animal studies provide an extremely rich and multifaceted arsenal of means which undoubtedly will advance delivery of RNA therapeutics to the desirable sites of action, providing optimal spatiotemporal control of the effect of this novel therapeutic marvel.