Dr. Cui’s research is focused on drug delivery and vaccine adjuvant discovery.
Improving the efficacy of anticancer drugs and overcoming tumor chemoresistance
An increasing amount of evidence points to the promise of nanotechnology in drug delivery and targeting. We are engineering nanoparticles, including microenvironment-responsive nanoparticles, to passively or actively target anticancer drugs into tumors to improve the resultant antitumor activity. Moreover, we are interested in utilizing nanotechnology to overcome tumor cell chemoresistance, including resistance caused by tumor-associated macrophages. Furthermore, we are also interested in modifying the pharmacokinetics and improving the efficacy of drugs using pharmaceutical chemistry.
Vaccine delivery and adjuvant discovery
Novel vaccine delivery systems with potent adjuvant activity are needed to improve the immunogenicity of new generation vaccines. We are interested in engineering novel nanoparticles, including lipid nanoparticles and aluminum salt nanoparticles, to increase or modulate the immunogenicity of protein antigens. We are also studying the effect of the physical properties of aluminum salts on their adjuvant activity.
Targeting of drugs to chronic inflammation sites
There is a critical need to target anti-inflammatory drugs in chronic inflammation sites such as arthritic joints. We are interested in exploiting the microenvironment in chronic inflammation sites to engineer novel nanoparticles. The overall goal is to increase the distribution and retention of drugs and imaging agents in chronic inflammation sites to improve efficacy and/or decrease adverse effects.