Developing nanoparticles for targeted theranostics delivery of drug and gene therapeutics

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Xiaowei Wang
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Karlheinz Peter

Summary The Peter and Wang group focuses on basic and translational research covering a wide variety of themes, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity and cancer. We study fundamental disease mechanisms in order to define the key cells and molecules which contribute to the development or outcome of disease. Using this information, we then design, test and implement novel molecular imaging approaches using state of the art technologies (magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, computed tomography, positron-emission tomography and 3D fluorescence emission computed tomography). We focus on novel therapeutic approaches, such as biological therapies targeting immune cells; and theranostics, which combine both therapeutics and diagnostics into a single platform.

Project Details

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease, is the underlying cause of most CVDs. Therefore early detection, prevention or regression of atherosclerosis may prevent devastating events such as heart attacks from occurring. We will create bio-compatible nanoparticles as contrast agents for imaging and drug carriers. These nanoparticles gives us the flexibility to incorporate drugs to increase their payload and/or apply them in gene delivery. By targeting these nanoparticles to the biomarkers of atherosclerosis, we can investigate their functions as novel theranostic (simultaneous diagnosis and therapy) approaches. Therefore this project would also focus on Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, which is one of the endothelial surface molecules most strongly and specifically up-regulated in inflammation. We propose to conjugate VCAM-1 targeting recombinant antibodies onto nanoparticles for diagnosis imaging and targeted delivery of pharmacological or genetic treatment. Significance: With steadily increasing health care expenses, targeted theranostic nanoparticles can provide early diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis, thereby preventing further CVDs. 

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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