Nucleic Acid Delivery and Targeting

These are exciting times in the scientific world. The public all over the world is fascinated by the spectacular advances in gene therapy, sequencing of the human genome, and stem cell research. These advances promise to prevent, correct or modulate genetic and acquired diseases, which use genes to produce therapeutic proteins or inhibit aberrant protein production. The development of effective nucleic acid therapeutics demands teamwork among scientists with expertise in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, polymer chemistry, colloid science, pharmaceutics, and medicine. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in the use of nucleic acids, such as plasmid DNA, antisense oligonucleotides, siRNA, ribozymes, peptide nucleic acids (PNA) and aptamer nucleic acids for nucleic acid therapy.

Basic Components of Gene Medicine

Our research at UTHSC involves the following distinct areas:

  • Oligonucleotide and siRNA Delivery;
  • Design and Synthesis of Novel Polymers, Lipopeptides and Lipopolymers for Nucleic Acid Delivery,
  • Design and Construction of Novel Plasmid and Adenovirus-based Gene Expression Systems,
  • Formulation and In Vitro Characterization of Nucleic Acid Delivery Systems to various disease targets,
  • Mechanisms of Cellular Uptake and Intracellular Trafficking of Nucleic Acid Drugs,
  • Gene and siRNA Delivery to Pancreatic Human Islets for the Treatment of Diabetes.

We attempt to understand the genesis of structure-synthesis-function interrelationships. How the components of a viable gene expression system would influence the disease state by controlling gene regulation, transcription, translation and replication are also the central theme of our research.

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Contact Us

UTHSC Campus:

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
956 Court Avenue, Suite E226
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5880
Fax: (901) 448-7387

U of M Campus:

Department of
Biomedical Engineering

The University of Memphis
330 Engineering Technology Building
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: (901) 678-3733
Fax: (901) 678-5281