Research in the Forbes Lab is at the interface of engineering and medicine. We use fundamental principles to understand and control the mechanisms of human disease. The central theme of all projects is molecular transport in biological systems. The research is composed of experimental and computational techniques at the intersection of biomedical engineering, tumor biology, microbiology, and synthetic biology. Projects are focused on developing treatments for cancer, but this technology can be applied to many diseases and biomedical problems. Several specific research areas are:
- Engineer bacterial therapies that target tumors, penetrate tissue and deliver specifically designed anticancer molecules. We call this approach intratumoral therapeutic delivery. The ultimate goal is to create treatment modalities to treat patients with drug-resistant tumors and metastatic disease.
- Design of genetic circuits to control the motility and protein expression of bacterial vectors.
- Develop in vitro devices to quantify the transport of drugs and bacterial vectors in tumor tissue.
- Build computational tumor models to predict optimal drug designs and treatment strategies.
Congratulations to Dana Thornlow, Emily Brackett, Jon Gigas, and Nele Van Dessel on the acceptance of their paper entitled "Persistent enhancement of bacterial motility increases tumor penetration" into Biotechnology & Bioengineering.
Congratulations to Jan Panteli, Brittany Forkus and Nele Van Dessel on the acceptance of their paper entitled "Genetically modified bacteria as a tool to detect microscopic solid tumor masses with triggered release of a recombinant biomarker" into Integrative Biology.
Congratulations to Charles Swofford and Nele Van Dessel on the acceptance of their paper entitled "Quorum-sensing Salmonella selectively trigger protein expression within tumors" into PNAS.