Author: Amy Weldon

Materials Science and Engineering professor Hai-Quan Mao was recently published in Nano Letters for his research on streamlining the creation of gene therapy tools for treating diseases. Working with Mao are Yining Zhu and Yizong Hu, biomedical engineering PhD students and members of his team from the Institute for NanoBioTechnology. Their work focuses on viral vector-based gene therapies, which are very useful treatments for diseases but can be complex and costly to produce.

Mao’s group joined forces with Nolan Sutherland, biotechnology company bluebird bio’s senior scientist, two years ago after they met at a conference where Hu presented. Transfection is a complicated and cumbersome process that involves combining a polymer solution with a mixture of DNA plasmids and is a key step in producing viral vectors and Sutherland knew Mao’s team could help solve this problem.

In a recent JHU Hub article, Mao, Zhu, and Hu discuss the research and how the team hopes to transfer this technology to the marketplace for a wide range of applications for gene and cell therapies. Read it here on the INBT website.