Stephany Tzeng, Siebel Scholar
In her research, Stephany Tzeng has been developing ways to deliver genes without the use of viruses that can have unhealthy side effects. Her goal is to use this genetic correction method to treat cancer and to promote tissue regeneration. Under the supervision of her doctoral adviser, Jordan J. Green, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, Tzeng is working with biodegradable nanoparticles as delivery vehicles that can carry DNA and other genetic material to the cells. In the cells, it should help repair or replace cancer-promoting and other types of genes that are defective or missing. Tzeng is also trying to use this technique to guide stem cells to become healthy new tissue, such as new neurons that could help regenerate damaged nerve tissue.