Clinical Instructor
Department of Pediatrics

Project Title: Multifaceted nanosystems to accelerate the generation and clinical translation of cellular therapies

Paul S. Weiss, PhD - UCLA
Donald Kohn, MD - UCLA
Ali Khademhosseini, PhD - UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Nanoscience, materials science & engineering, materials chemistry, stem cell biology, cellular & gene therapies, pediatric hematology/oncology

Project Description:
We target the design and application of precision-assembled nanostructures that establish controlled and transient permeability of cells to create new tools to enable the broader clinical deployment of gene and cellular therapies. Immunotherapies that utilize T-cells engineered to recognize tumor antigens and to harness the immune system are emerging for these critically ill cancer patients. There is an unmet need for methods capable of processing large populations of these engineered cells quickly, cost effectively, efficiently, and with high recovery rates to generate more homogeneous and better characterized cellular products for clinical translation. Ideas inspired by microfluidics, nanolithography, and nanorobotics are combined with gene editing in this effort to generate broadly applicable and translatable methods for the rapid, efficient, and sustainable introduction of chimeric antigen receptor constructs in combination with gene-editing machinery into human T-cells.