Photodynamic therapy uses light and photosensitizers to produce chemicals with short diffusion lengths and lifetimes that damage cancer cells on a local level, circumventing systemic toxicity in the patient.
Photodynamic Therapy Based Combination Therapies
The order and timing of the delivery of therapies are critical factors in the success or failure of a treatment regimen. In this project, we examine the reasons for this and develop methods to rapidly screen for optimal treatment strategies.
Photoimmunotherapy & Photoimmunoconjugates
By linking antiboides and photosensitizers, we are able to increase the specificity and decrease the systemic toxicity of our therapies.
Multi-agent nano constructs allow for flexibility in designing therapeutic regimens to overcome a broad spectrum of systemic and microenvironmental barriers. We develop photo-responsive nanoconstructs that encapsulate a variety of theranostic agents and preferentially release them at the desired site through both enhanced accumulation and selective activation. Conjugating targeting moieties to liposomal nano constructs also provides a means for cancer cell-selective delivery of anti-tumor agents.
Impacting Pancreatic Cancer Therapy in Heterotypic in Vitro Organoids and in Vivo Tumors with Specificity-Tuned, NIR-Activable Photoimmunonanoconjugates: Towards Conquering Desmoplasia?(Nano Letters 2019).
Longitudinal Photoacoustic & Ultrasound Imaging
We focus on optical imaging techniques for image-guided resection, image-guided dosimetry, and therapy monitoring.
3-D Tumor Modeling
Monolayer cell cultures often lack the environmental cues that are integral to recreating accurate models of cancer in the lab. This project works to develop models that more accurately mimic the response of cancer in a native environment.
Quantitative Fluorescence Imaging in 3D
With the ever increasing development and utilization of three-dimensional cell culture models, there also comes the need for a system of quantitative analysis methods. In the lab, we develop computational-based fluorescence image analysis to extract useful information from our 3D models.
Microfluidic 3-D Cancer Models
This project aims to create experimental setups that more accurately model the development of cancer in the environmental conditions found in the human body. These setups provide insight into the mechanisms that drive changes in cancer, such as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Flow-induced Shear Stress Confers Resistance to Carboplatin in an Adherent Three-Dimensional Model for Ovarian Cancer: A Role for EGFR-Targeted Photoimmunotherapy Informed by Physical Stress.(Journal of Clincial Medicine 2020).
Rapid Portable Screening of Antibiotic Resistance
The inability to rapidly detect antibiotic resistance in resource-challenged locations poses a significant significant threat to patients and communities. This project develops new approaches to reduce the cost and increase the speed of antibiotic resistance detection.