Dr. Tae Jin Lee
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Neurosurgery
Lee Laboratory has focused on basic and translational studies on a role of deregulated microRNAs in tumorigenesis and developing a strategy to treat brain tumors using cutting edge RNA-based nanoparticles. Brain tumors are the second-leading cause of cancer-related death with limited options of treatment. This research mainly involves novel nanoparticle based on pRNA derived from the DNA packaging motor of bacteriophage Phi29 for successful delivery of therapeutic microRNAs into brain tumors. Dr. Lee has developed first batch of RNA nanoparticle which successfully penetrates the blood brain barrier and deliver a cargo siRNA into intracranial tumor, provided a proof-of-concept for efficient delivery of therapeutic RNAs for the treatment of brain tumors. Following work has advanced the RNA nanoparticle to deliver therapeutic microRNA systemically into glioblastoma xenograft in mouse brain and showed significant reduction of tumor growth. Long term goal of Lee lab is to make a visible impact on the development of reliable strategy for cancer therapy by reprograming deregulated microRNAs in cancer patients by designing novel and innovative RNA nanoparticles that can be applied to future human clinical trials.