Systems and Synthetic Biological Engineering
University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Chemical Engineering, 2010-2014
University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Science in Business, Finance, 2010-2014
There is a large spectrum of hematological disorders affecting red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (granulocytes), platelets (megakaryocytes) and lymphocytes. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) can differentiate into these blood cell types, and gene editing of HSPCs can provide therapeutic benefits to patients for a variety of genetic hematological disorders, ranging from immunodeficiencies to thrombocytopenia. My project involves delivering CRISPR Cas9, a sequence-specific nuclease, to HSPCs using both natural (microparticles) and semi-synthetic membrane vesicles. By using membrane vesicles derived from blood cells, Cas9 can be delivered specifically to HSPCs through receptor-mediated endocytic pathways. Additionally, membrane vesicles minimize the immunogenic risk associated with other vehicles, potentially establishing Cas9-loaded membrane vesicles as a safe and effective method for cell-specific in vivo gene editing.
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