The Pq Laboratory of BiomeDx/Rx
Dx to Rx: The Key to Advancing Precision Medicine
Our research is focused on Translational Medicine. Through working at the interface of medicine, material, and engineering our interdisciplinary team aims to develop groundbreaking technologies for the detection of biofluid biomarkers and drug delivery. Ultimately, we hope that by working in close partnership with medical practitioners, these techniques can be implemented in clinical practice. On the other hand, leveraging clinical data mining we are interested in exploring, identifying, and validating potential biomarkers for disease diagnosis and therapy. We will further bring them back to the patient's bedside to improve outcomes. Currently, our team focuses on lung cancer early diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and drug delivery systems.
Bench-to-Bedside: Lung Cancer Diagnostics
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid bilayer-enclosed vesicles with sub-micrometer size that are released by cells. EVs contain a tissue-specific signature wherein a variety of proteins and nucleic acids are selectively packaged. Incontestably, growing evidence has shown important biological roles and clinical relevance of EVs in cancers. In particular, recent studies validate that EV can be used for non-invasive repetitive cancer (early) diagnostics, staging, and treatment monitoring. Currently, we are investigating the role of EV-DNA in early diagnosis of malignant pulmonary nodule (MPN). To further provide a more powerful diagnostic strategy for patients with MPN, a deep learning-based diagnostic system is under development, which can quickly raise a red flag on patients with high risk of MPN. Subsequently, physicians would recommend these patients take EV-based liquid biopsy. The combination of medical imaging and molecular detection would significantly improve diagnostic accuracy of MPN with a two-day turnaround time. In contrast, a definitive diagnosis of MSPN generally takes 3 to 12 months, and it heavily relies on follow-up CT scans. The other ongoing project is focusing on EV-based treatment monitoring of patients with advanced lung cancer. The ultimate goal is to develop a point-of-care device for patients, allowing them to monitoring targetable mutations at home.
Bench-to-Bedside: Drug Delivery Nanocarriers
EVs have also been exploited as drug delivery nanocarriers. EVs as a natural delivery system can evade phagocytosis, have extended blood half-life, and exhibit optimal biocompatibility. Moreover, the small size of EVs facilitates their extravasation, translocation through physical barriers, and passage through the extracellular matrix. Recently, we developed engineered EVs which can specifically bind to receptors on tumor cell membranes and then deliver drugs to the cytosol via highly efficient membrane fusion. On the other hand, we developed chimeric nanobodies that can spontaneously assemble into lipid bilayers and form cancer-targeting liposomes in one step. This new technology shows promise for industrial manufacturing and clinical translation. Currently, we are developing cancer-targeting PEG-free mRNA vaccines for cancer therapy.
[2024-01] Our paper is accepted to be published in Clinical and Translational Medicine. It is the first attempt to use a small gene panel to analyze DNA mutations and mutation burden in extracellular vesicle DNA for differential diagnosis of lung nodules. In the future, a large-scale multicenter study will refine the panel.
[2023-10] Our paper is accepted to be published in Nature Nanotechnology. The one-step preparation of immunoliposomes will have a seminal influence on liposomal therapeutics.
[2023-06] Our paper is accepted to be published in Nature Communication. In this study, we developed virus-mimicking vesicles. These vesicles are equipped with targeting moieties and binding-defective fusogens which can trigger membrane fusion and achieve cytoplasmic drug delivery.
[2022-12] Guosheng's paper is accepted to be published in Drug Resistance Updates with an impact factor of 20+. He reported EOMES+CD8+ T cells could be a marker for the prediction of acquired EGFR-TKI resistance. His hard work and perseverance have paid off. Congratulations!
[2022-11] Leihui Tong's conference paper was accepted by the upcoming 2023 SPIE Medical Imaging: Digital and Computational Pathology for Oral Presentation. Many Congratulations! An awesome achievement for a high school student.
[2022-08] Our perspective is published in the British Journal of Cancer. We speculate that ruptured circulating tumor cells in capillaries could release a large number of small extracellular vesicle-like vesicles, which can encapsulate chromosomal DNA fragments. These vesicles may promote cancer metastasis.
[2021-09] Guosheng's paper is accepted to be published in Clinical and Translational Medicine (with an impact factor of 10+). He reported that anti-cholesterol therapy could benefit NSCLC patients with wild-type EGFR and low-expression of PD-L1.
[2021-09] We have received notice-of-awards for an R37 grant (MERIT Award) from NCI entitled "liquid biopsy of solitary pulmonary nodule with extracellular vesicles". [Link]
[2021-07] Our technical paper is accepted to be published in Bioactive Materials (with an impact factor of 10+). The genetically engineered extracellular vesicles can perform concurrent immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
[2019-10] We are excited to publish our first technical paper in Analytical Chemistry.
[2019-08] Miss. Bordenave won the 2nd Place Poster Presentation with "EVs Derived from Cells Cultured in Artificial Microgravity".
[2019-06] The invited News & Views, Enhanced Detection of Tumor-Secreted Vesicles, was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering
[2019-03] Yi's poster got the 1st Prize Poster Award at UNYTE Un-Meeting at the University of Rochester on March 13, 2019.
[2018-08] The Pq Lab of BiomeDx/Rx in Binghamton Univeristy-SUNY was established.