Student research project
This project is focused on the development of novel targeted drugs that are directed against activated platelets.
Research in the Molecular Imaging and Theranostics lab is focused on translational research that links the findings from basic science to the practical applications that enhance human health and well-being in the clinical settings. Targeted drug delivery allows imaging of thrombus as they form as well as effective thrombolysis and has the potential to act as a fibrinolytic agent without bleeding complications..
Acute thrombosis causes vessel occlusion resulting in ischemic complications, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, and is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Fast and effective removal/breakdown of thrombosis is crucial to reduce injury and improve recovery. Fibrinolysis is a valuable alternative for the treatment of myocardial infarction when invasive/surgical procedure is not available in a timely fashion. For acute ischemic stroke, fibrinolysis is the only treatment option with a very narrow therapeutic window. However, clinically approved thrombolytics have significant drawbacks, including bleeding complications due to the high systemic concentration required. Thus their use is highly restricted leaving many patients untreated.
This project would focus on the development of novel targeted fibrinolytic drug that is directed against activated platelets. The use of small recombinant antibodies for diagnostic molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery is well established in our lab.
When thrombosis occurs, platelets are activated and aggregate together to form a thrombus. Our targeted fibrinolytic drug will locate these activated platelets and accumulate at the site of the clot where they will act to break the clot down. This allows a high potency of drugs for efficient and safe thrombolytic treatment. Due to the targeting properties, we can reduce the concentration of drugs need which would also enable us to eliminate the current bleeding complications associated with the clinically used fibrinolytic drugs.
Significance: This project will develop and test a novel fibrinolytic agent with the capability to overcome the current limitations in thrombolytic therapy associated with the risk of bleeding complications. It has the potential to break the fatal link between increased fibrinolytic potency and bleeding complications..
Related methods, skills or technologies
This project is suitable for a Masters, Honours or PhD student and will involve the application of advanced ultrasound imaging, cell biology, Western blots, flowcytometry, statistics, bio- and molecular biology including PCR and recombinant antibody design, production, and purification.