Nano Drug Deliveries Inspired by Nature
Head of Junior Research Group Biogenic Nanotherapeutics (BION)
Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Please explain your research in simple words
Together with my group, we are developing biogenic and biomimetic strategies to improve the targeted delivery of drugs to their site of action. By using nanotechnology we aim at reducing accumulation in other tissue and potential side effects. Biogenic systems, such as cell-derived extracellular vesicles, show inherent functionalities and are thought to be less immunogenic than synthetic carriers. We hope to overall enhance the therapeutic outcome of delivered drugs by following these natural avenues.
Monday - my personal career and how I ended up in nanotechnology
Tuesday and Wednesday - the latest development in biogenic and biomimetic drug delivery and extracellular vesicle research
Thursday - current topics such as how homeoffice works, how groups can be together and how the current situation impacts on the way how we do science
Friday - outlook on nanotechnology in drug delivery and follow-up
What can the followers expect in your curation week?
How did you end up in your current research field?
After my PhD at ETH Zurich in 2013, I worked as postdoc at Imperial College London where I started working with extracellular vesicles. I became interested in these natural nanocarriers and since then develop them as drug carriers for different applications.
My aim is to engineer smart biogenic drug carriers utilising principles established in nature. BION is dedicated to using cutting-edge methodologies in nanoparticle formulation and imaging combined with tangible pharmaceutical expertise in the field of targeted drug delivery for treating infections and inflammatory dispositions.
How and where does your research fall in the domain of materials/nano science?
Which research project are you most proud of and could you explain it in simple words in the section we call #InOtherwords?
We recently discovered a new class of bacterial vesicles that are low in cytotoxicity but show inherent antibiotic activity against gram-negative model pathogens which had not been shown before.
Nanoparticles and drug delivery (pharmacy class); Introduction to biopharmacy (biotechnology and bioinformatics class)
If you teach, which are the courses would you like to mention?
If you had 3 wishes to improve your research experience, what would you ask for (not promising anything here!)?
1) bring in an experienced postdoc with research concepts,
2) jump deeper into the (molecular) biology of extracellular vesicles,
3) find a permanent position
To finish the manuscript that has been sitting on my desk for the last year.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months?
Which challenges/questions is the nano/materials science field facing at the moment?
We need to work on personalising nanomedicine, both for carrier types and by using individualised drugs. Nanomedicine offers us a great variety of optimisation and engineering opportunities that we should take advantage of to achieve this aim.