Nuclear Targeting of Plasmids and Protein-DNA Complexes
My laboratory studies the mechanisms and applications of plasmid and DNA-binding protein nuclear localization. Our long term goals are to develop gene therapy approaches to the treatment of a variety of human diseases by focusing on the development of novel non-viral intra- and extracellular delivery methods. Our main emphasis is in the area of vascular gene delivery and function.
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In Vivo Gene Delivery
Our laboratory has also developed methods for extracellular delivery of non-viral vectors. It has been demonstrated by multiple labs that injection of naked DNA into muscle results in high level expression of gene product. More recently, electroporation has been coupled with the direct injection approach in muscle and liver of living animals and levels of expression have been shown to increase up to a thousand-fold.
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Cytoplasmic Trafficking of DNA Effects of Strain on Gene Transfer
Gene therapy is an important advancement with the potential to revolutionize clinical medicine. However, current technologies to deliver genes are not sufficient to make this a reality in patients under even optimum conditions, let alone under stresses associated with many disease states. Prolonged and even short-term exposure to mechanical ventilation can cause profound changes in the alveolar epithelium.
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