Research program

Our research program focuses on the development of intelligent delivery systems and biomolecular devices. The main objectives are (1) to develop new, non-invasive technologies for the delivery and ultra-specific targeting of therapeutic agents into the body and to diseased tissues, and (2) to investigate the fundamental properties of these delivery technologies and the cells they target. We are on a mission to develop increasingly intelligent and reliable diagnostic and therapeutic systems.

Knowledge of our genetic material and the proteins they encode — the genome and proteome — has led to enormous opportunities in the identification of new therapeutic molecules that ultimately will have a major impact on human health. These new types of pharmaceuticals — DNA and RNA pieces, small peptides, large proteins and recombinant or subunit vaccines — as well as the science and technology of the delivery and targeting of these genetic and proteomic products, are the next crucial steps in the development of new approaches to treat and prevent disease.

Current research projects include the following areas:

1. Design, fabrication and characterization of drug-delivery systems and biomolecular devices

  • lipid-based systems: liposomes, biphasic vesicles, lipid-surfactant nanoparticles
  • gemini surfactant - based nanoparticles and micelles
  • carbon nanomaterials/fullerenes (carbon nanotubes, graphene, buckyballs)
  • peptides and acylated-peptides


2. Development of new treatments for dermatology, immunology/vaccines and neurodegenerative diseases using the novel delivery technologies developed in our laboratory

  • Gene therapy (localized scleroderma, pachyonychia congenita)
  • Topical treatments in dermatology (HPV infections)
  • Targeted drug delivery in neurodegenerative diseases (glaucoma)
  • Non-invasive vaccine delivery systems