Postdoctoral Associate – Cartilage-Penetrating Nanocarrier-Drug Conjugate for
Disease-Modifying Intervention in Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis
This position in the Paula T. Hammond Lab at the MIT Koch Institute and Dept. of Chemical Engineering, will be filled by a biomedical engineer with significant experience with animal experiments and histology, and an interest in working on projects with a clinical goal. The project is a collaboration with the Alan Grodzinsky lab at MIT. The proposed work investigates dendritic based nanocarriers developed in our lab that are designed to penetrate cartilage to enable growth factors or other biologic drugs to get deep into the tissue to reach chondrocytes for extended periods for effective cartilage regeneration. The work includes conjugation of nanocarriers such as dendrimers, with high positive charge valency, to achieve desired penetration and pharmacokinetics in joints, and optimization of conjugation chemistry to achieve triggered release in the presence of inflammation, pH/hypoxia, or enzymes. The objective is to conduct translational research on this technology to evaluate and further develop the technology as a potential disease-modifying therapy for human posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). The project’s specific aims are to (1) explore and compare disease-modifying biologics with anabolic and anticatabolic mechanisms of action in osteoarthritis (OA), (2) perform dose-finding studies and toxicology of dendrimer-drug conjugates, and (3) evaluate improved delivery and efficacy of dendrimer-drug in a canine model (dog studies to be performed by a nearby contractor).