The primary research interest of our group is to develop and integrate nanotechnology and chemical biology to modulate signaling pathways in cancer and stem cells. More specifically, our research focuses on identifying the various microenvironmental cues (e.g. soluble signals, cell-cell interactions, and insoluble/physical signals) affecting stem cell and cancer cell fate and thereafter utilizing these cues for the neuro-differentiation of stem cells and apoptosis of brain tumor cells. In addition, our group is also developing novel nanomaterials for applications such as cancer therapy, molecular imaging and bio-sensing.
Work is in progress in the following research areas:
- Synthesizing and Developing a New Generation of Multifunctional Nanomaterials as a Toolkit to Control Cancer and Stem Cells Fate
- Development of a Nanoparticle-based Artificial Transcription Factor (NanoScript) for Effective Gene Regulation in Cellular Reprogramming
- Combinatorial Nanomaterial-Based Approaches to generate Stem Cell-based Neural Networks and Detect Neurotransmitters in Stem Cell-derived Neural Interface
- Advanced Stem Cell Therapies for CNS injuries and Advanced in vivo Drug/Gene Delivery using Bioinspired Hybrid Nanoscaffolds
Over the next several years we will work towards the novel design of nanomaterials, and 3D-ECM platforms, which can be responsive to external signals (e.g. light, pH, and enzymes), while leveraging our expertise to expand into several new directions. Researchers in our laboratory come from various disciplines with backgrounds in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, polymer science, physics, cell biology, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.