Young Jik Kwon, Ph.D.

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University of California, Irvine
Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Dual Modal Gene Therapy for Leukemia Using Chimeric Nanoparticles

Genetic mutations in cancer cells reduce activity of molecules that cause cell death, leading to imbalanced cellular signals and prolonged leukemia cell survival. This project aims to genetically re-balance the molecular signals toward programmed death in leukemia cells. We will increase pro-cell death molecules and simultaneously silence activity of pro-survival proteins using dual modal cancer gene therapy. We use novel virus core/synthetic shell nanoparticles that co-deliver a pro-cell death gene and anti-pro-survival nucleic acids to leukemia cells at the same time. Successful application of this synergistic and targeted gene therapy will potentially lead to a clinical leukemia treatment.