This position in the Paula T. Hammond Lab at the MIT Koch Institute and Dept. of Chemical Engineering, will be filled by a biomedical engineer with significant experience with animal experiments and histology, and an interest in working on projects with a clinical goal. The project is a collaboration with the Alan Grodzinsky lab at MIT. The proposed work investigates dendritic based nanocarriers developed in our lab that are designed to penetrate cartilage to enable growth factors or other biologic drugs to get deep into the tissue to reach chondrocytes for extended periods for effective cartilage regeneration. The work includes conjugation of nanocarriers such as dendrimers, with high positive charge valency, to achieve desired penetration and pharmacokinetics in joints, and optimization of conjugation chemistry to achieve triggered release in the presence of inflammation, pH/hypoxia, or enzymes. The objective is to conduct translational research on this technology to evaluate and further develop the technology as a potential disease-modifying therapy for human posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). The project’s specific aims are to (1) explore and compare disease-modifying biologics with anabolic and anticatabolic mechanisms of action in osteoarthritis (OA), (2) perform dose-finding studies and toxicology of dendrimer-drug conjugates, and (3) evaluate improved delivery and efficacy of dendrimer-drug in a canine model (dog studies to be performed by a nearby contractor). Applicants should contact the PI at email@example.com
PhD in engineering or related fields. Experience with animal models, especially with bone or cartilage regeneration. Work with larger animals would be helpful but not required.
About Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hammond Research Lab
PI: Paula T. Hammond, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT, and MIT Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research. Regenerative medicine, including bone and cartilage regeneration. The Hammond lab has developed approaches around the incorporation of surface-erodible, hydrolytically degradable components in coatings for sequential or simultaneous multi-drug release. These advances led to the controlled release of proteins and biologic factors from conformal coatings of implants and scaffolds that yield physiologically relevant amounts delivered locally over extended periods of up to multiple weeks. Very recent results from our research group indicate the success of delivery of bFGF, BMP-2, VEGF and PDGF, as well as nucleic acids such as plasmid DNA and siRNA. We have applied electrostatic layer-by-layer and other polymer self-assembly processes toward biomaterials for applications that include tissue engineering and wound healing, including diabetic ulcer wound healing, soft tissue wounds and antifibrotic healing processes. By directly incorporating siRNA to knockdown specific proteases, we have also shown the promise of nucleic acid delivery directly to wound sites, and the use of DNA as a vaccine delivered with microneedle technology.