Vaccine Design and Delivery
The Vaccine Design and Delivery Group is an interdisciplinary and international team comprising approximately 10 researchers of various backgrounds including pharmacists, biologists, biochemists, physicists and biotechnologists.
Our research goal is to improve disease prevention and treatment in the fields of infectious and inflammatory diseases.
The main research interest is advanced drug delivery aiming at designing new vaccine and nucleic acid delivery systems based on nanoparticles to improve therapy. Nanoparticles are highly attractive as delivery vehicles for nucleic acids and vaccine antigens because they mimic the structure and/or composition of microbes that are naturally adapted to infect target cells. However, the specific design of nanoparticles is crucial for ensuring optimal delivery of the drug to the target cells as well as a good safety profile. We do this by imaging-guided design of nanoparticulate vaccine and nucleic acid formulations.
A central question for our research is to mechanistically understand how the design of nanomedicines affect the interaction with the environment, e.g. in formulation, in cell culture and in vivo (biological activity). This basic knowledge is used to optimize drug efficacy and safety.
We work with lipid- as well as polymer-based nanoparticulate drug delivery systems for delivery of nucleic acids and vaccines using various approaches for targeting and membrane destabilization. Since nanoparticulate delivery systems are very complex molecular assemblies, exhaustive physicochemical characterization is of major importance for gaining an increased understanding of structure-activity relationships. Advanced characterization techniques are used for this purpose.