We are developing new immunotherapies and vaccines by applying the basic principles of pharmaceutics and biomedical engineering.

Engineering Immunity with Synthetic materials

We are developing new materials that can interact with immune cells and modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. We investigate cellular interactions between biomaterials and the immunological system and identify materials design criteria that dictate the outcome and immune functions. We expect that our research will lead to new technologies that can selectively target immune cells and elicit therapeutic immune responses.

Improving Cancer Immunotherapy

Our immune system can detect and eliminate foreign pathogens by generating systemic immune responses. If we can harness this tremendous potential of our immune system and engineer cancer immunotherapy that can sense and eradicate tumors, this new strategy will bring transformative changes to cancer therapy. We are developing novel drug delivery systems that can deliver a payload to immune and tumor cells, in order to enhance the effector functions of immune cells against cancer. We seek to use this strategy to educate the adaptive immune system and selectively kill and eliminate primary and metastatic tumors.

Developing vaccines against Infectious Pathogens

Infectious pathogens primarily enter the host and initiate infection through mucosal tissues. However, there is currently no approved mucosal adjuvant that can achieve concerted cellular and humoral immune responses. We are addressing this major global challenge by developing “virion-mimicking” materials that may serve as a potent mucosal vaccine platform to generate T lymphocytes and broadly-neutralizing antibody responses against various infectious pathogens.