Engineering Nanoparticles for Intracellular delivery of proteins for cancer therapy and genome editing

There are many protein-based drugs currently available, such as cytokines, growth factors, and monoclonal antibodies—most of which function by interacting or binding with specific cell surface receptors. However, the intracellular delivery of proteins safely and efficiently to intracellular targets remains challenging. Our group mainly focuses on developing effective strategies to deliver therapeutic proteins into cytoplasm for therapeutic applications. Such delivery system for intracellularly targeted proteins would provide a better way to treat certain diseases, with increased cytotoxicity and fewer off-target interactions. Such enabling technique that can facilitate the efficient intracellular transduction of proteins may open the door for generating new therapies for a variety of diseases, including those traditionally viewed as “undruggable”. In this talk, I will present: 1) chemical modification as a universal strategy for intracellular protein delivery, 2) delivery of protein or protein-nucleic acids for genome editing, 3) potential scale up production of the lipid/protein nanocomplexes.

Qiaobing Xu is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University.  Dr. Xu’s research interests lie at the intersection of material science engineering, specifically nanoscience, and biomedical application. His work looks at developing new synthetic materials for the delivery of therapeutic biomacromolecules. In his postdoctoral research, Xu synthesized a library of lipid-like molecules, which were tested for efficacy both in vitro and in vivo in the delivery of protein and messenger RNA. Xu is currently investigating the use of drug delivery as a tool to stimulate host immune system for cancer vaccine applications. Xu is also working on using micro/nanofabrication as tools for tissue engineering applications.