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Research Themes

Nucleic Acid Delivery

Focused on developing platform technologies for the delivery of nucleic acids inside cells. This team is particularly focused on developing efficient delivery vehicles that exhibit high transfection efficacies and low toxicities. The aim here is to develop toolkits that impact gene expression, gene knockdown and genome editing. An example involves the delivery of Cas9 coupled to guide RNA to target DNA modification of specific genes.

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Rotello group has developed an efficient and direct cytoplasmic/ nuclear delivery of Cas9 protein complexed with a guide RNA (sgRNA) through the co-engineering of Cas9 protein and carrier nanoparticles. This construct provides effective (~30%) gene editing efficiency and opens up opportunities in studying genome dynamics (ACS Nano, 2017, 11, 2452-2458)

Research Highlight

Innovation / Technology

Exploiting Apoptotic Caspases for targeted cell death via Intracellular Delivery

How many active caspases does it take to induce apoptosis? Do pro-survival and pro-apoptotic intracellular balances influence a caspase’s ability to induce cell death (i.e. potency)?

Cysteine aspartate proteases (caspases) act as the molecular scissors of apoptotic cell death, disintegrating diverse cellular components necessary for cell survival and growth.

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