Leaf Huang, Ph.D.
Fred Eshelman Distinguished ProfessorDr. Leaf Huang is a pioneer in liposome research and non-viral gene therapy. He was the first a) to publish the success in grafting polyethylene glycol to liposomes to enhance the circulation time (Klibanov et al, 1990), b) to develop a low toxicity cationic lipid for gene transfection (Gao & Huang, 1991). The lipid, DC-chol, was subsequently used as the vector for the first human non-viral gene therapy trial using a direct in vivo injection protocol in 1992 (Nabel et al., 1993). More recently, his lab was also the first to develop a nanoparticle vector to deliver oligonucleotide (including siRNA) and plasmid DNA with an unprecedented high level of tumor accumulation, i.e. 60-80% of injected dose per gram of tissue (Li et al., 2008). This was the first successful example of RES evasion without compromising drug delivery activity of the nanoparticle (Li and Huang, 2009). Dr. Huang’s lab was also the first to show that some cationic lipids (such as DOTAP), although effective in assisting transfection, actually protect the tumor cells from apoptosis via a reactive oxygen species (ROS) mechanism (Chen et al., 2009). His group also developed several novel cationic lipids that enhanced both transfection and apoptosis of the human lung tumor cells in vivo, thus significantly improved the therapeutic efficacy of siRNA delivered by the nanoparticles (Chen et al., 2009).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 14:28