Chemical biology, Nanotechnology, Drug/Gene Delivery, Biomaterials/Tissue Engineering, Stem Cell Biology, Molecular Imaging, Synthetic Biology, and Functional Genomics
The primary research interest of my group at Rutgers is to develop and integrate nanotechnologies and chemical functional genomics to modulate signaling pathways in cells (e.g. stem cells and cancer cells) towards specific cell lineages or behaviors. In particular, my group is interested in studying how microenvironmental cues (e.g. soluble signals, cell-cell interactions, and insoluble/physical signals) functionally affect stem cell fate. To fully investigate the complex cell behaviors, we are developing both approaches from nanotechnology-the "top-down" pattering of extracellular matrix (ECM) and signal molecules in combinatorial ways (e.g. ECM compositions, pattern geometry, pattern density, and gradient patterns), and the "bottom-up" synthesis of multifunctional nanoparticles and their modification with specific signal molecules (e.g. siRNA and small organic molecules). Collectively, our research program is directly relevant to matters concerning biomaterials, nanomedicine, chemical biology and stem/cancer cell biology.