BINA scientists are uncovering fundamental principles that govern human health and disease, while creating the path-breaking medical technologies that will save lives. From specially-designed nanoparticles for diagnostics and targeted drug delivery, to innovative approaches to neurodegenerative disease, viral infection and cancer, BINA laboratories are producing the basic science breakthroughs that will serve as a springboard for tomorrow's therapeutic strategies.
- Nano-based methods for targeted drug delivery
- Innovative methodologies for diagnostics
- Active oxygen chemistry and biochemistry within liposomal and membrane bilayers
- Liposomes as nanometric "drug vehicles" and models for living cells
- Microfluidic-based studies of virus-host interaction
- The use of nanoparticles for cytoplasmic and nuclear gene silencing
- Structure and function of ion channels
- Nanoparticles for improved CT imaging
- mRNA dynamics in living cell systems in the single-molecule, single-gene and single-cell level
- Neuronal nano-engineering
- Protein-DNA interaction on the single-molecule level
- Organization of the genome in the nucleus and its disruption in cancer cells
- Nanoparticle-based methods for the imaging and treatment of brain tumors
Optical Imaging and Biosensing Laboratory
• Rapid and highly sensitive detection of biomarkers, such as proteins and specific DNA sequences
• Detection of protein-protein interactions
• Magnetic manipulation of nanoparticles, design of magnetic poles, magnetic force optimization
The synthesis of strained olefins and their photosensitized reactions with singlet and triplet oxygen.
• The organic chemistry of active oxygen species within organic media, liposomal lipid bilayers, and biomembranes.
• The preparation of high temperature thermo-oxidatively stable aerospace polymers.
• The preparation, characterization and neutralization of green reduced sensitivity high energy compounds
Cancer stem cells from brain tumors
• Studying the role of protein kinase C in the regulation of cellular growth, differentiation and apoptosis.
• Studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of brain tumors: Exploring signal transduction pathways involved in glial cell transformation and identification of novel proteins and genes expressed in brain tumors; development of in vivo and in vitro models of brain tumors; development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for brain tumors; studying the role of stem cells in the development of brain tumors and their use as a vehicle in gene therapy.
• The bi-directional interaction between the nervous and immune systems and the role of this interaction in the function of neuronal and glial cells during physiological and pathological conditions.
We study the dynamics of genetic information, and how it affects disease, evolution and, behavior. Specifically, we develop technology and algorithms to uncover the full extent of A- to-I RNA editing in human and animal models. We are also develop technology to manipulate the genomic information by recruiting endogenous cellular RNA editing processes.
Artificial intelligence and multi-robot systems
Computational mechanisms that underly intelligent social behavior, artificial and natural.
Such mechanisms include the ability to understand what others are doing and intend to do, and to generate appropriate cooperative, coordinated behavior.
This research emphasizes both theory and experiments with robots to synthesize social intelligence in the lab, and in real-world applications including applications in molecular nano-scale robots
Neurogenetics of motivation and social behavior
Our research aims to uncover the molecular and neural mechanisms that shape the interplay between social interaction and motivational behaviors. We use a combination of cell specific transcriptome analysis, spatial RNA maps, state of the art neurogenetic tools and novel tracking and machine vision technologies.
Biomaterials and Advanced Materials group
Research in my group has been focused on revealing and explaining the fundamental interactions that underlie inorganic material formation in nature, a process known as biomineralization.
We particularly make use of our expertise in solid-state NMR spectroscopy to analyze the rudimentary processes of biogenic material formation in atomic/molecular level. Unveiling the structure/activity relations in these specialized biomolecules involved in regulation of solid biomaterial formation has been particularly elusive.
Using these findings, we develop new biomaterials for hard tissue applications based on rationale guidelines.
We implement NMR characterization in materials research to understand interfaces between nanomaterials at great detail and employ molecular insights to design concept materials that are more environment friendly.
Innovative Surface Engineering of Magnetic/Non-Magnetic Nanomaterials
• Functional electroconductive polymers (ECPs) and nano/microparticle fabrication
- Functionalization/nanostructuration of polymeric films
• Magnetically-responsive composite polymer-nanoparticles for ultrasensitive detection of DNA hybridization and drug release using combinatorial approaches
• ECPs-microarrays for diagnostics
• High-throughput screening of polymersupported chiral catalysts
• (1,3)-dienyliron-carbonyl complexes in asymmetric synthesis
• Selective deprotective chemistries of-OSiR3 ethers mediated by Vilsmeier- Haack reagents (kinetic resolutions/ deracemizations of meso compounds).
• Functionalization of carbon nanotubes et use in self assembling systems/composites materials.
• Polymodal silica and silicon carbide nanoparticles for hard surfaces and their mode of functionalization using ECPs.
Host-Microbiome Interactions in Health and Disease
Our lab studies how cells of the immune system in the gut interact with their environment - specifically the gut microbes (microbiota) and the enteric nervous system – and how these interactions control the balance between inflammation and tolerance, in health and disease. For this purpose, we combine microscopy, genomics, and molecular biology, with a unique gut organ culture system which we have recently developed. This system allows us to perform experiments which cannot be readily performed otherwise and has recently led us to discover that enteric neurons mediate microbiota-induced T-cells development in the gut. Dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying neuro-immune-microbiome cross-talks may lead to the development of microbiome- based, personalized therapy for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Neuroengineering and Regeneration
• Neurobiological systems development: image processing and network analysis
• Tissue Engineering: Developing skin grafts that enable reinnervation and regeneration
• Developing devices for reagents delivery into live tissue at a microscopic resolution
• Neuroprosthetic devices: Neuron-Chip interface
Nanotheranostics for Personalized Medicine
• Molecular CT imaging of cancer using targeted gold nanoparticles.
• Theranostic approaches for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.
• Metabolic based imaging and therapy.
• Optical/chamical imaging of enzymatic activity.
• Nanoparticle-based strategies for targeted drug delivery.
• In-vivo cell tracking techniques.
• The study of the etiology of cancer is critical to understanding how to prevent this disease and to improve treatment.
• Exploring the Cellular and Viral Pathways of KSHV Infection Cycle and Pathogenesis
• KSHV: Clinical and Epidemiological Studies
• Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery Research for Infectious Disease
• Molecular characterization of complex tissues • Spatial genomics
Nano-precision in the location of RNA molecules inside tissues is crucial for many biological processes including learning and memory. The multiplexed measurement of the nanoscale position of these molecules allows mapping the heterogeneity of complex tissues, and therefore can lead to a better understanding of many diseases including cancer.
Polymers, biopolymers and nanotechnology for biomedical and industrial applications
- Polymers & biopolymers
- Surface modification
- Functional nano/micro-particles
- Thin film coatings (self-cleaning, antibiofouling, UV absorbers, anti-fog and superhydrophobic coatings)
- Colloidal chemistry and biological and medical applications of polymers (drug targeting, imaging, contrast agents, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer diagnostics and therapy, etc.)
• Mechanism and machinery of nucleolar gene silencing
- The use of nanoparticles for cytoplasmic and nuclear gene silencing
- Trans-splicing in trypanosomatids
- Protein translocation in trypanosomatids
- RNA modifications mediated by guide RNAs
- RNAi silencing in plants
- The use of nano particles as RNAi carriers into the nucleous
Ophthalmic Science and Engineering Lab
- Electro-cellular interfaces, optical and electronic micro-devices development
- Applied science for improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various ophthalmicdiseases.
- Artificial introduction of the visual information and its processing by the retina and the visual cortex.
- Electro-cellular interface with the autonomic system and application of high electrical field for solid tumor ablation (IRE - Irreversible Electroporation).