A majority of antibiotics and drugs that we use in the clinic are derived or inspired from small organic molecules called Natural Products that are produced by living organisms such as bacteria and plants. Natural Products are at the forefront of fighting the global epidemic of antibiotic resistant pathogens, and keeping the inventory of clinically applicable pharmaceuticals stocked up. Some Natural Products are also potent human toxins and pollutants, and we need to understand how these toxins are produced to minimize our and the environmental exposure to them.
We as biochemists ask some simple questions- how and why are Natural Products produced in Nature, what we can learn from Natural Product biosynthetic processes, and how we can exploit Nature's synthetic capabilities for interesting applications?
Broadly, we are interested in questions involving (meta)genomics, biochemistry, structural and mechanistic enzymology, mass spectrometry, analytical chemistry, and how natural product chemistry dictates biology.
The Dreaden Lab uses molecular engineering to impart augmented, amplified, or non-natural function to tumor therapies and immunotherapies. The overall goal of our research is to engineer molecular and nanoscale tools that can (i) improve our understanding of fundamental tumor biology and (ii) simultaneously serve as cancer therapies that are more tissue-exclusive and patient-personalized. The lab currently focuses on three main application areas: optically-triggered immunotherapies, combination therapies for pediatric cancers, and nanoscale cancer vaccines. Our work aims to translate these technologies into the clinic and beyond.
Molecular Engineering, Tumor Immunity, Nanotechnology, Pediatric Cancer
Dr. Lindsey is interested in developing new imaging technologies for understanding biological processes and for clinical use.
In the Ultrasonic Imaging and Instrumentation lab, we develop transducers, contrast agents, and systems for ultrasound imaging and image-guidance of therapy and drug delivery. Our aim is to develop quantitative, functional imaging techniques to better understand the physiological processes underlying diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and tumor progression.
The application of quantitative techniques and mathematical modeling to plants in order to gain systems-level insight into their physiology and development, particularly to understanding how metabolic and gene regulatory networks interact to control growth.
My research interests focus on image-based computational design and 3D biomaterial printing for patient specific devices and regenerative medicine, with specific interests in pediatric applications. Clinical application interests include airway reconstruction and tissue engineering, structural heart defects, craniofacial and facial plastics, orthopaedics, and gastrointestinal reconstruction. We specifically utilize patient image data as a foundation to for multiscale design of devices, reconstructive implants and regenerative medicine porous scaffolds. We are also interested in multiscale computational simulation of how devices and implants mechanically interact with patient designs, combining these simulations with experimental measures of tissue mechanics. We then transfer these designs to both laser sintering and nozzle based platforms to build devices from a wide range of biomaterials. Subsequently, we are interested in combining these 3D printed biomaterial platforms with biologics for patient specific regenerative medicine solutions to tissue reconstruction.