University of Pennsylvania · Department of Bioengineering

The Tsourkas Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is interested in creating novel targeted imaging and therapeutic agents for the detection and/or treatment of diverse diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and infectious diseases. This includes the development of both targeted nanoparticle formulations as well as the development of antibody and protein-based agents. Specific research interests include (i) developing new nanoformulations that are capable of carrying extremely high payloads of drugs, radiosensitizing agents, photosensitizers, and/or contrast agents; (ii) developing new bioconjugation techniques that enable the highly efficient, site-specific labeling of proteins or antibodies with drugs, enzymes, oligonucleotides or other biomolecules; (iiI) investigating new targeting strategies that maximize specificity, accumulation at the target site, and tissue penetration. Our approaches are designed to enable true personalized medicine through improved diagnoses, more informed treatment planning, the ability to predict or monitor therapeutic efficacy, and the tailoring of treatments for individual patients. The ability to reach this potential requires overcoming practical, financial, and regulatory barriers. Therefore, when designing new agents, we have placed a particular emphasis on scalability, modularity, cost, biodegradability and safety.