As an Assistant Laboratory Member in the laboratory of Dr. Michelle Bradbury and within the Department of Radiology, I have been working in the areas of translational nanotechnology research and molecular imaging. My focus has been on the biologic and pharmacologic characterization of novel diagnostic and therapeutic silica nanoparticle probes and small molecular inhibitors for subsequent in vivo tumor targeting and treatment. These research efforts dovetail with my expertise in cellular/ molecular biology and pharmacology, having received doctoral and Pharmacy degrees from the Hebrew University in Israel and pursued subsequent research fellowships at the Weismann Institute and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
I am currently designing and implementing assays for investigating the interaction of nanoparticles at the cellular, subcellular, and molecular levels, coupled with the use of molecular imaging (PET, optical) tools. These studies largely address questions of receptor binding potency, specificity, modulation of signaling pathways, and routes of cellular internalization. These studies address critical needs in the field of nanomedicine: intracellular fate and potential toxicity of these various nanoparticle probes, as well as the influence of particle properties on the dynamic uptake, subcellular distribution, and expression levels of key pathway intermediates. Understanding these mechanisms will enable us to further refine the design of our nanoparticle probes for nanodiagnostics and targeted drug delivery.
The information acquired has been and will continue to be used to conduct in vivo studies in small and large animal models, and support clinical trial initiatives designed to detect, localize, and ultimately treat tumors. Finally, the results of these studies will be used to inform the development and implementation of more sophisticated therapeutic constructs, namely ones in which drugs can be loaded and released at controlled rates from pores contained within the particle.