Urine tests for organ transplant rejection

Our work on activity sensors for early and noninvasive detection of acute transplant rejection was just published in Nature Biomedical Engineering! Organ transplantation is the only effective therapy for end-stage organ diseases, yet a key barrier to successful transplantation is acute transplant rejection, in which host immune cells, predominantly T cells, recognize and destroy the foreign transplant. Detecting the onset of acute rejection is crucial for the long-term health and survival of transplant recipients. Currently, the core biopsy remains the diagnostic “gold” standard despite its invasiveness, risk of morbidity, and limited predictive power. Our nanosensors noninvasively monitor the dysregulated states of the immune system to predict the onset of rejection.

Read more about our work here

Glympse Bio selected as ‘Fierce 15’ for 2018

FierceMedTech has named Glympse Bio, co-founded by LSI director Dr. Gabe Kwong, as one of its Fierce 15 for 2018. Each year FierceMedTech spotlights 15 of the most innovative and promising startups in the medtech industry.

Read more about what makes Glympse fierce here and here.

Brandon Holt presents at Gordon Research Seminar

Brandon gave a podium talk titled “Biological Bits for Computing Classical and Quantum-Inspired Algorithms” at the Complex Active and Adaptive Material Systems Gordon Research Seminar in Ventura, CA. This conference was focused on formulating new ways to inscribe the vital functions found in biological systems into synthetic materials and complex structures. Congrats Brandon and great to hear your talk was well-received!

Dr. Kwong highlights work on protease sensors for NASH at Keystone Symposium

The global prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has risen precipitously over the past two decades in parallel with the worldwide obesity epidemic, and these diseases are associated with progressive fibrosis and an increased risk of liver cancer. The field lacks an integrated understanding of risk prediction, pathogenesis and validated biomarkers to predict or track disease progression without reliance on liver biopsies. Dr. Kwong presented work from our lab and Glympse Bio harnessing synthetic biomarkers as protease activity sensors for noninvasive monitoring of NASH.

LSI awarded grant from the DARPA PREPARE Program

LSI is part of a team of researchers from Georgia Tech, Emory, Duke, Rockefeller, and UGA that has been awarded funding from DARPA for ‘Thwarting Influenza with RNA-powered Modulators (ThIRM)’.

The DARPA PReemptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements (PREPARE) program is aimed at delivering a capability to generate programmable gene modulator MCMs (PGM-MCMs) to enable safe, transient, and preemptive activation of intrinsic host defenses against a variety of threats to health.

Read more about the program here.

Dr. Kwong gives talk at nanoDDS 2018

The 16th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium highlights new groundbreaking discoveries and developments in nanomedicine and drug delivery.  Revolutionary advances in this area require collaboration amongst researchers working in a diverse array of fields including nanotechnology, materials science, imaging, cell biology, tissue engineering, gene editing, drug and gene delivery as well as clinical research. Dr. Kwong’s talk “Harnessing protease activity as ‘biological bits’ for programmable medicine” demonstrated our approach of using proteases to guide next-gen treatment regimens.

Dr. Kwong invited to speak at Northwestern University

Dr. Kwong will be giving a seminar at Northwestern University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics on Sept. 13. His talk is titled “Harnessing Protease Activity as ‘Biological Bits’ for Programmable Medicine”.

Precisely Targeting Tumors with Cancer-Fighting T Cells

Our work on remote control T cells for cancer immunotherapy was recently published in ACS Synthetic Biology! Engineered T cell therapies are a new class of treatments that have the potential to cure patients of cancer. However, tumors have the uncanny ability to turn off T cells to evade being targeted. In our study, we developed a new technique to remotely activate T cells, which were genetically modified, using laser targeting and pulses of heat.

Our study was highlighted by numerous news outlets – read more about this technology below.

ASME: Precisely targeting tumors with cancer fighting T cells
Georgia Tech Research Horizons: Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells
Medical News Today: This ‘genetic switch’ could help fight cancer

Additional coverage by Science Daily, Controlled Environments, Phys.orgEurekAlert!, Nanowerk, Nanotechnology NowMedgadget

LSI goes abroad!

Dr. Kwong traveled to the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France to talk about work from our lab and Glympse Bio at the 4th Paris NASH Meeting. His talk was titled “Protease activity signatures in NASH”.

The Paris NASH Meeting is an in5ternational academic meeting is aimed to do a deep-dive into many aspects of NASH and to deliver scientific innovations that are not covered in other meetings.